A doubles sweep powered 11th-ranked DePauw to a 5-4 victory over North Coast Athletic Conference West Division rival Denison Saturday on the Blackstock Courts in Greencastle, Ind.
The Tigers took a commanding, and what proved to be vital, 3-0 lead over the No. 26 Big Red after sweeping the three doubles flights. DePauw posted 8-3 wins at first and second doubles, while Julie Wittwer and Kaitlin Pickrel won an 8-2 decision at No. 3.
Despite falling into an early hole, Denison made a serious push in singles play. Senior Kelsey Geppner picked up her fourth win over a regionally-ranked opponent and her sixth-consecutive singles victory following a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) win over Maggie MacPhail at No. 1 single. Also helping the cause was sophomore Taylor Hawkins who won a three-set decision over Claire Marshall (6-4, 1-6, 6-1).
The Tigers pulled within one point of winning the match after Carolyn Huerth posted a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles. However, the gap closed when freshman Emily Holloway and sophomore Sarah Torrence won at fourth and sixth singles, respectively. Holloway defeated Meg Crowley in three sets (6-3, 2-6, 7-5), while Torrence won 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 over Wittwer.
The match-clinching point came at the fifth flight where Caroline Emhardt won a three-set battle with Heather Abzug. Abzug won the opening set with a 6-2 score. However, Emhardt rebounded with back-to-back wins (6-0, 6-2) to earn the win for DePauw.
With the loss, Denison falls to 9-8 overall and 2-1 in the NCAC West, while the Tigers moves to 14-4 record and a perfect 3-0 in conference play. The Big Red returns to action next weekend when they host the annual NCAC Tennis Championships in Granville.