Women's Tennis Mounts Dramatic Rally to Stun Middlebury in NCAA Regional Final

Kate Winingham sparked the Bowdoin comeback with a win at #2 singles
Kate Winingham sparked the Bowdoin comeback with a win at #2 singles

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The Bowdoin College women's tennis team rallied from a 4-1 deficit to take a thrilling 5-4 win over Middlebury in the regional finals of an NCAA Regional in Vermont on Sunday.

The Polar Bears (13-8) will take on Emory in the national quarterfinals on Monday, May 21st in Cary, N.C. It will be the second NCAA Quarterfinal appearance for Bowdoin, who also reached the round of 8 in 2008. The Panthers finish their season with a record of 15-4.

Doubles play was tight throughout, with Middlebury emerging with a 2-1 lead. Brittney Faber and Leah Kepping trailed 3-0, before battling back with an 8-5 win over Kellen Alberstone and Emma Lewis.

Bowdoin evened the match at #3 singles, with an 8-6 win in a back and forth contest. Bowdoin's Kate Winingham and Emily Lombardi led Katie Paradies and Victoria Aiello 3-0 and then found themselves trailing 5-4. The duo battled back and came away with the 8-6 victory.

The final doubles contest saw Middlebury leading most of the way, including 8-7 late. Bowdoin's Emma Chow and Chantalle Lavertu came back to tie the match at 8-8 forcing a tie-breaker. Lok Sze Leung and Anna Burke emerged with a 7-5 victory tie-breaker.

Leung made it a 3-1 lead at #1 singles, topping Alberstone 6-2, 6-2. The Panthers took a 4-1 advantage when Katie Paradies defeated Howard 6-3, 6-4 in the #6 spot.

Bowdoin jumped back into the match at #2 singles when Winingham topped Aiello, 6-2, 7-5. The Polar Bears kept coming, making it a 4-3 match when Lavertu outlasted Kepping 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 at #3. Just #4 and #5 singles remained, as they both headed into the third sets.

Bowdoin jumped out to early leads in both sets, sealing the match simultaneously with a pair of victories. Lombardi was a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 winner over Burke at #5, while Lewis topped Faber 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-2 in the #4 spot.

More information about the NCAA Quarterfinals, including match times and live coverage, will be available this week.

Bowdoin 5, Middlebury 4
1. Lok Sze Leung (MIDWT) def. Kellen Alberstone (BOWWT) 6-2, 6-2
2. Kate Winingham (BOWWT) def. Victoria Aiello (MIDWT) 6-2, 7-5
3. Chantalle Lavertu (BOWWT) def. Leah Kepping (MIDWT) 6-3, 1-6, 7-5
4. Emma Lewis (BOWWT) def. Brittney Faber (MIDWT) 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
5. Emily Lombardi (BOWWT) def. Anna Burke (MIDWT) 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
6. Katie Paradies (MIDWT) def. Susanna Howard (BOWWT) 6-3, 6-4

1. Brittney Faber/Leah Kepping (MIDWT) def. Kellen Alberstone/Emma Lewis (BOWWT) 8-5
2. Lok Sze Leung/Anna Burke (MIDWT) def. Emma Chow/Chantalle Lavertu (BOWWT) 9-8 (7-5)
3. Kate Winingham/Emily Lombardi (BOWWT) def. Katie Paradies/Victoria Aiello (MIDWT) 8-6
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (1,6,2,3,5,4)