Women's Tennis Downs John Carroll (Ohio) In Postseason Opener

A regionally ranked opponent tested the Hope College women's tennis team from the first serve at Thursday's NCAA Division III Tournament opener in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Flying Dutch responded, winning an opening-round match for the third consecutive postseason with a 5-0 victory against John Carroll (Ohio) University in regional played hosted by Carnegie Mellon University.

Hope (14-8 overall) advanced to face Wesleyan (Connecticut) — ranked fifth in the nation — in Friday's 1 p.m. second-round match.

"We are in a very difficult region," head coach Bob Cawood said. "Even getting out of the first round is a great feat. I'm proud to move past a tough John Carroll team. "

The Flying Dutch earned the match's first three points by sweeping doubles.

Sophomore Amanda Bandrowski of Traverse City, Michigan (St. Francis HS) and freshman Bailey Chorney of Waunakee, Wisconsin (Waunakee) dominated their No. 2 flight for an 8-1 victory, but it was close after that.

The next point came at No. 1 doubles where junior Taylor LaBarge of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) and sophomore Claire Hallock of Lakeland, Florida (Harrison Center) earned the final two points for an 8-5 victory.

Hope's No. 3 pairing of senior Natalie Rahrig of Fort Wayne, Indiana (Bishop Luers) and junior Erin LaBarge of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) provided a commanding lead with an 8-6 victory.

"Going up 3-0 in doubles adds a huge pressure release," Cawood said. "We only needed two of those singles matches."

The match was played indoors due to inclement weather. Only three singles flights could be played at a single time.

Hallock, pictured, put Hope ahead 4-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 win at No. 2 singles, which allowed Rahrig to begin playing at No. 4 singles.

Rahrig never finished the first set as Taylor LaBarge recorded the final point with a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 3 singles.


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