WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis University women's tennis team rode a doubles sweep to victory over local rivals Wellesley last night in a battle of nationally-ranked squads. The 18th-ranked Judges improved to 11-3, while the #33 Blue dropped to 10-5.
The Judges opened the match strong, winning the doubles matches in reverse order. The No. 3 team of sophomores Michele Lehat (Great Neck, N.Y./John L. Miller Great Neck North) and Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J./Allied Academy of Health and Sciences) rolled to an 8-2 victory, while junior captain Haley Cohen (Cherry Hill, N.J./Laurel Springs Acad.) and sophomore Sophia He (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Spackenkill) earned an 8-5 win at No. 2.
The closest doubles match of the night came at No. 1, where Brandeis sophomore Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) and rookie Sabrina Ross Neergaard (Port Orchard, Wash./Laurel Springs Acad.) used a late service break to defeat Wellesley's Carina Chen and Justine Huang, 9-7.
In singles play, the Blue got on the board first, as Huang knocked off Khromchenko at No. 3, 6-2, 6-0. Ross Neergaard pushed Brandeis within a point of victory at the No. 1 as she completed a sweep of Chen, 6-2, 6-3.
The final two points of the night were a pair of three-set comebacks. Wellesley's Sarah Yan avenged a loss to Cohen at No. 2 singles thanks to a tight second-set tiebreaker, winning 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2. The clinching point came at No. 5, where He rallied from a set down and used her momentum from a second-set win to roll in the third, 4-6, 7-5, 6-0.
The Judges return to action on Saturday at Trinity (Conn.), while Wellesley travels west to Mount Holyoke for the Seven Sisters championship this weekend.