#21 Women's Tennis downs Bates, 6-3

Olivia Leavitt (courtesy Ellen Friedlander)
Olivia Leavitt (courtesy Ellen Friedlander)

LEWISTON, Maine -- Newly minted as a top-25 squad, the 21st-ranked Brandeis University women's tennis team rallied from a doubles deficit to defeat Bates College, 6-3. 

The Judges trailed, 2-1, after the first set of matches, with the top-ranked duo of Sabrina Ross Neergaard (Port Orchard, Wash. / Laurel Springs Prep) and Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) knocking off the Bobcats, 8-5, at No. 1. Bates took the lead into doubles action thanks to a 9-8 win at No. 3 by Kate Rosenthal and Lauren Hernandez, who won the tiebreaker, 7-5, over Brandeis sophomores Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J. / Academy of Allied Health and Science) and Michele Lehat (Great Neck , N.Y. / John L. Miller Great Neck North).

The Judges responded in singles play by winning the top five matches. Ross Neergaard and junior captain Haley Cohen (Cherry Hill, N.J./Laurel Springs) gave Brandeis the lead at the top two spots, with the rookie winning, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 1 and Cohen earning a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 2.

Khromchenko for the Judges within a point of victory with a 6-4, 6-3, win at No. 3, allowing Leavitt to clinch in her home state with a 6-3, 6-0, win at No. 4.

After the Bobcats' Olivia Voccola earned their lone singles point at No. 6, 6-4, 6-0, Lehat finished the scoring at No. 5 with the lone three-set win of the night, 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 in a super tiebreaker.

Earlier in the day, the Judges moved from 28th to 21st in the ITA national Division III poll, their highest ranking since 2012. 

Brandeis (5-1) returns to action tomorrow at 11 a.m. at MIT. Bates (1-3) hosts Mount Holyoke at 1 p.m.