Lady Sailfish Start Out NCCAA Championships in Fine Fashion

Written By: Michael Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University SID

Montse Ripoll (Pictured) Earned Victories in All Four of Her Matches on Tuesday with Victories in Doubles and Singles. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Montse Ripoll (Pictured) Earned Victories in All Four of Her Matches on Tuesday with Victories in Doubles and Singles. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

MARION, Ind.- Starting their quest for a National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Championship, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s tennis team hit the ground running on Tuesday as they won both of their matches in dominating fashion. PBA opened first with a 5-1 victory over Taylor University in their first match in the morning then followed that up with another 5-1 victory in the afternoon against Bethel College.

Playing on the campus of Indiana Wesleyan University, the Sailfish are the #2-seed in Pool A with hopes of avenging their near championship last year as they were defeated 5-4 in the championship final.

Playing without one of their top performers in Olga Alekseeva due to illness, the rest of the Sailfish players were forced to step up in her absence.

Things started off a bit rough for the team as #1-doubles duo of Lina Rubiano and Natalie Aleman were defeated 4-8 but the Fish quickly rebounded as Montse Ripoll and Katie Livesay picked up a #2-doubles victory (8-1) followed by Krishna Domenech and freshman Amber Braaten coming through with a #3-doubles victory at another 8-1 finish.

From that point the Sailfish made quick work of the Trojans as they needed only their top three singles players to close out the match. Ripoll started things off with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at #1-singles followed by a 6-3, 6-1 victory by Rubiano at #2-singles. Aleman closed out the morning match with a 6-3, 6-0 win at #3-singles.

Bethel College was the next opponent on the slate for Tuesday’s opening pool play action for PBA as they once again moved ahead with another 5-1 victory.

Rebounding from their opening match loss at #1-doubles, Rubiano and Aleman put the Sailfish in the driver’s seat  with an 8-1 victory and were quickly backed as well by Ripoll and Livesay winning 8-2 at #2-doubles. Domenech and Braaten were defeated in a tight 6-8 match at #3-doubles.

Taking part in championship format, the Sailfish started at the bottom of their singles rotation for their second match. However, the Sailfish didn’t miss a beat as Domenech (6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4)), Livesay (4-6, 6-4, 6-2), and Braaten (6-0, 6-7, 6-4) all stepped up to earn victories at #4-#6 singles respectively.
After the first day of pool play, the Sailfish are tied with Dallas Baptist University for the #1 spot in Pool A with a 2-0 record. Bethel College and Taylor University both dropped to 0-2.

The Sailfish will be back in action on Wednesday when they take on DBU at 9 am.

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