#14 women's tennis battles back to upset #6 Bowdoin, 5-4

Olivia Leavitt '19 (Photo by Sportspix.com / Lewis Glass)
Olivia Leavitt '19 (Photo by Sportspix.com / Lewis Glass)

BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Brandeis University women's tennis team picked up a significant upset today as the 14th-ranked Judges defeated sixth-ranked Bowdoin, 5-4, for the first time in program history.  With the win, the Judges improve to 10-5 on the season, reaching the 10-win plateau for the ninth year in a row and the 11th in the last 12 seasons.  The Polar Bears fall to 9-3.

The Judges battled back all afternoon. After falling behind in doubles play with an 8-2 loss at #2, senior Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) and sophomore Lauren Bertsch (Middletown, R.I./LaSalle Academy) evened things up with an 8-6 win at #1. The Judges then jumped ahead at #3 doubles as senior Sophia He (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Spackenkill) and rookie Ana Hatfield (Rockford, Ill. / Boylan Central Catholic) won in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (7-3).

In singles action, Bowdoin quickly tied things up, as the hosts' Sasha Jovanovic avenged her doubles loss to He at #4, 6-1, 6-0. Flemy Landy did the same for the Polar Bears against Hatfield, 6-3, 6-0, to take a 3-2 lead.

Brandeis junior Diana Dehterevich (Minsk, Belarus/Secondary School #185 of Minsk) pulled Brandeis even with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Julia Marks at #1. Bowdoin went back on top with a 6-2, 6-4, win at #3 by Izzy Essi over Bertsch.

With the match down to the Judges' final two seniors, the visitors prevailed. Playing in her final collegiate match in her home state, Leavitt pulled out a 7-5, 7-6 win at #2 over Tasha Christ, winning 7-5 in a tight tiebreaker to knot the match at 4-4. Senior Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J./Academy of Allied Health and Sciences), the reigning UAA Player of the Week, pulled through at #3, 6-0, 6-7 (2-7), 6-2. Khromchenko won the final four games of the match to help Brandeis pull off the upset. The win was Brandeis's third against a higher-ranked opponent in their last four matches.

Brandeis will close out their regular season tomorrow at home at 10 a.m. against Stonehill College before heading to Florida in two weeks for the University Athletic Association tournament.