Indianapolis, Ind. – The Transylvania women's tennis team battled its way to a 5-3 victory over the Franklin College Grizzlies in the semifinals of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at the West Indy Racquet Club on Saturday afternoon, punching the Pioneers' ticket to tomorrow's championship match.
"Today was just a fantastic college tennis match," remarked Transylvania tennis coach Kevin Calhoun. "Franklin fought back after we took some momentum in doubles. We fought through some adversity and lots of ups and downs. I'm really proud of and happy for this group."
Transylvania junior Merrick Irwin turned in a stellar performance on Saturday, teaming with sophomore Reagan Jobe to earn an 8-4 victory in the No. 3 doubles match before going on to pick up a 6-4, 6-3 win in No. 3 singles play.
The Pioneers jumped out to an early 2-1 lead thanks to a hotly contested 8-6 win for freshmen Porsche Robinson and Jessica Burton in the No. 1 doubles matchup to go along with the win by Irwin and Jobe.
The No. 3 seed Grizzlies bounced back early in singles play by sweeping the No. 1, and No. 2 matches to level the overall match score at 3-3.
Freshman Alyssa Igyarto gave the Pioneers a 4-3 lead in the match by capturing a 6-1, 6-1 victory in her No. 5 singles match.
Then, Transylvania's lone senior, Kearstin Bruther, clinched the 5-3 victory for the Pioneers as she earned a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory in the No. 4 singles match.
"I'm especially happy for Kearstin, who clinched the match for us, said Calhoun. "She handled the tension of the situation perfectly and performed like a senior captain."
With hopes of their first conference crown since the 2011-12 season, the Pioneers will face the Hanover College Panthers tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. at the West Indy Racquet Club. The winner of the match will earn the HCAC's automatic bid to next May's NCAA Women's Tennis Tournament.
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