Women's tennis falls to VWU in ODAC semifinal

Halle Lavieri waits to receive a serve in a tennis match.

Virginia Beach, Va. -- The Lynchburg College women's tennis saw its historic season come to a close Saturday in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament semifinals with a 5-4 loss to seventh-seeded tournament host Virginia Wesleyan.

LC began the day with a bang, winning two of the three doubles matchups. Sophomores Christina Harris (Falls Church, Va.) and Halle Lavieri (Killingworth, Conn.) took care of business at No. 1, cruising to an 8-2 decision, while the Hornets' No. 3 team of juniors Sarah Wyly (Leesburg, Va.) and Reagan Coon (Churchville, Va.) won 8-4. At No. 2, junior Lilli Altenburg (Lexington, Va.) and freshman Ellen Druebbisch (Jamestown, N.C.) forced a tiebreak, but the pair fell 9-8 (2) to the Marlins' Kellen Phillips and Katie Stamen.

Singles play didn't favor the Hornets as much. Harris earned a quick, 6-1, 6-0, win at No. 1 but was countered at No. 6, where VWU's Kristina Sabelstrom bested Coon. The Marlins also earned straight-set victories at Nos. 4 and 5 to take a 4-3 edge in the match with two to play.

Lavieri came through in the clutch at No. 2, winning a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 thriller that brought the match down to the final at No. 3.

Wyly bounced back from a first-set defeat to even the match and force a winner-take-all third set, but the Marlins' Staman was able to take the match, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seal the win for the Marlins.

VWU will move on to face defending conference champ Washington and Lee in Sunday's final.

The Hornets finish the season tied for the most single-season wins in program history, winding up 2018 with a 13-7 record. LC reached the conference tournament semifinals for the first time in program history and earned just the second-ever ODAC tournament victory.

Lynchburg will now await the announcement of this season's all-conference awards, which will be unveiled Monday.