REDLANDS, Calif. -- The Denison women's tennis team suffered a narrow 5-4 loss at 24th-ranked Redlands on Wednesday. The loss drops Denison's record to 2-5 on the season.
Denison had their work cut out for them after Redlands swept doubles play, 3-0. Junior Carol Vitellas got the Big Red on the board with 6-4, 6-4 win at sixth singles. The Bulldogs extended their match lead to 4-1 with a straight-set decision at the third flight.
Just one loss away from dropping the match, DU mounted a furious comeback to tie the match up. Denison's top singles player, Lauren Hawley, got the surge going with a three-set victory over Sarah Ikioka. After winning a tight first set 7-6 (7-0), Hawley suffered a 6-1 setback that forced a third set. In that final set, the Big Red sophomore pulled off an impressive 6-2 win to shrink the match deficit to two.
Emma Alsup followed Hawley's win with a straight-set decision over Emily Murnin (6-4, 6-4) at No. 2 singles. Sophomore Ashley Hammons secured the match-tying point at the fourth singles flight. After shutting out Kate Dolan 6-0 in the opening set, Hammons needed a tiebreaker to decide the second. The sophomore secured the win with a 7-5 score in the tiebreaker.
After Denison battling back from two three-point deficits, the match came down to the fifth flight. In a tightly contested match, Redlands' Jackie Lacy edged Charlotte Purnode via matching 6-4 scores to earn the win for the home team.
The Big Red (2-5) will wrap up their spring break trip with a neutral site match against #8 Wesleyan on Friday in Claremont, Calif. Friday's match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET.