April 10, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Saint Louis women's tennis came up short in a bid to capture its first conference crown Sunday, falling 4-1 to Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship final at Boar's Head Sports Club.
The Billikens (14-6) were playing in their first A-10 Championship title match a day after reaching the tournament semifinals for the first time. Saint Louis was the No. 3 seed, its highest placement in six years of A-10 membership. Top-seeded Richmond won its third consecutive league championship and eighth since 2002.
"We battled throughout the tournament to earn a chance to win the championship, and we battled today as hard as we could, but Richmond was the better team this time," head coach Jonathan Zych said. "Our team showed a lot of grit and heart all season, and that continued into the conference tournament.
"It certainly is disappointing, because we prepared very well and were confident that we had enough talent to win," Zych said. "We were ready to play, no doubt about it. But even though we came up a little bit short, it was a fun experience to be there and compete. Our players feel good about what they've accomplished, and I'm proud of them for what they've achieved athletically and academically. It was an amazing season."
The Spiders went up 2-0 on Sims' 6-1, 6-1 win over Mia Elmore at No. 6 singles. Nalepa cut the Richmond lead in half by trouncing Grant 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3, but Richmond clinched the match with victories at Nos. 2 and 5. Matuszczyk downed Miller 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2, and Smyth got past Tomalak 6-3, 6-1 at No. 5.
In unfinished matches, Hollis led Kelly Tidwell 6-1, 4-2 at No. 4, while Hailee Elmore trailed Cunningham 6-3, 3-1 at No. 1.