Championship Season Falls Just Short For PBA in Instant Classic Finale

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

MARION, Ind.- Despite incredible courage and effort, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s tennis team came up just short in their efforts to capture the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship as the Sailfish were defeated 5-4 by the host institution, Indiana Wesleyan University.

After rolling through their first three matches, including opening the tournament with a 5-1 victory over IWU, the Sailfish met Olivet Nazarene University in the semi-finals and came away with a 5-4 victory to reach the finals.

The championship match, which was moved indoors to the Howard County Indoor Tennis Center due to the torrential rains in the area, allowed for only four courts of action to go at a time. As with the other matches in the tournament, doubles competition would be first which presented the Sailfish with their biggest challenges yet.

While the number one PBA duo of Lina Rubiano and Natalie Aleman came through with another fairly easy victory, it would take number two doubles partners Montse Ripoll and Katie Livesay a bit longer. In the end however, they would fight through and take a lengthy match versus the Wildcats. As in the previous tournament matches, PBA’s number three doubles could not come up with the victory.

Up 2-1 entering singles, PBA would once again take number one and two while five and six were defeated. Now tied 3-3, number three and four singles would move to the court with IWU taking number four in two sets.

That set the stage for IWU’s Eva Delk and PBA’s Natalie Aleman in a dual that won’t soon be forgotten. After going three sets in their initial dual on Tuesday with Aleman coming out ahead, this match would also go deep.

On this day however things would go the way of Delk and the Wildcats as she stormed back from a 1-0 set hole and took the championship for her team which is the fourth NCCAA national championship in the last six seasons for Indiana Wesleyan.

The loss wraps up the tournament for both teams with PBA and IWU splitting their matches and both going 4-1 in tournament play. PBA finishes their season with a final record of 14-12.

PBA 4, Indiana Wesleyan University 5

Final Totals and Picture Galleries Coming Soon!

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