ABILENE, Texas—In a matchup that could be a preview for the national championship match, the fourth-ranked Barry Buccaneers went on the road to knock off the third-ranked Abilene Christian Wildcats 6-3 at the Eager Tennis Pavilion on Wednesday.
The Bucs (11-0) stayed unbeaten on the season with a masterful performance against the Wildcats.
“We’re really proud of them (the team),” coach Avi Kigel said. “It was some pretty tough conditions: very windy, really cold for singles and much faster courts than we’ve been on. Plus, they (Abilene) had a huge crowd that was very involved. It was a great atmosphere for tennis. But we really played well and hammered out a big win today.”
The Bucs took a 2-1 advantage in doubles, knocking off both of the Wildcats’ ranked pairs. ACU, which was coming off a doubles sweep of NCAA Division I Kentucky, floundered at the top two flights. Barry’s Elisabeth Abanda and Emma Onila dominated Julia Mongin and Brittney Reed, the fifth-ranked duo in Division II, 8-1 at number one.
At number two, Linda Fritschken and Kimmy Twelker posted an 8-5 win over 14th-ranked Micah Hermsdorf and Hannah Kelley.
At the third doubles, Barry’s Isabela Miro and Karina Goia were up a break most of the match before ACU’s Laura Mongin and Kaysie Hermsdorf knotted the match up at 8-8. In the tiebreaker, the Buccaneer duo led again 5-1, before the Wildcats rallied for an 11-9 win.
Up 2-1 heading into singles, Onila quickly made it 3-1 with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Reed at number three, and Goia put the Bucs on the brink of the win with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Kaysie Hermsdorf at number five.
But Laura Mongin inched the Wildcats back with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Twelker, her first loss as a Buccaneer, at number four and 32nd-ranked Micah Hermsdorf made it 4-3 with a 7-5, 7-6 (3) win over Abanda at number two.
With Akemi Maehama trailing 3-0 in the third set at number six and the crowd starting to get involved, 19th-ranked Fritschken pulled a huge 6-3, 6-4 upset of fifth-ranked Julia Mongin at number one singles to clinch the match for the Bucs. With the win in the bag, Maehama responded with a 6-0 run to take the third set from Hannah Kelley and complete a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 win.
The Bucs improved to 11-0 on the season, while Abilene Christian fell to 8-3 with their first loss to a Division II foe. The Bucs continue their march through Texas with a Thursday matchup against 22nd-ranked St. Edwards in Austin.