WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Agnes Scott College tennis team evened their season record at 4-4, while improving to 2-0 in the Great South Athletic Conference, as they downed defending regular season champions, Salem College, by a score of 6-3. First-Year Maddie Hoffman and junior Nikki Langford both won twice for the Scotties, who overcame a determined Salem team, and gusty conditions, to earn their first win over Salem since the 2012-13 season.
"Today was difficult for both teams," commented head coach T.J. Greggs, "but I think we did a decent job of dealing with the windy conditions."
In the doubles, the Scotties dominated at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, opening up a 2-1 advantage over the Spirits (2-6, 0-1 GSAC). Hoffman and Taylor Lee handled Ashley Koehler and Allie Watkins, 8-3 at the No. 2 spot, and Langford paired with Camille Wilson to take out Deanna Wilkins and Ayla Pruitt, 8-1. At the top spot, Salem got on the board when Andrea Akers and Kerri Morgan fended off a comeback from the team of Anne Rinaldo and Claire Rinaldo, winning 8-5 to keep the Spirits' hopes alive heading into singles.
"I am happy with how our doubles went at the bottom two spots," continued Greggs, "but we have to get off to stronger starts at all three spots if we want to continue to be successful as we approach the conference tournament in a few weeks."
In singles, the Scotties raced to victories at the No. 2 and No. 5 spots to take a 4-1 lead, with Hoffman taking down Koehler, 6-3, 6-2 and Langford rolling past Samantha Story, 6-1, 6-1. Salem would extend the Scotties to three sets at No. 1 and No. 4, but Claire Rinaldo made the victory official with her 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Akers at the top spot.
"I am proud that Claire was able to recover and close out her match," added Greggs, "and I know she learned a lot from this match."
Unfortunately for the Scotties, they would drop the other three-setter, as Lee fell to the Spirits' Wilkins, falling 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. Anastasia Bennett would stretch her singles record this season to a perfect 3-0 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Pruitt, while Anne Rinaldo fell to Morgan, 7-5, 7-5, to finish out the scoring on the day.
"Salem put up a great fight today," continued Greggs, "and I know we can perform at a higher level than we did today, but I am still happy we were able to come away with the win on the road."
The Scotties will continue their weekend in North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m. as they head to nearby Guilford College to take on the Quakers.
AGNES SCOTT 6, SALEM 3
1) Andrea Akers/Kerri Morgan (SAL) def. Anne Rinaldo/Claire Rinaldo (ASC), 8-5
2) Maddie Hoffman/Taylor Lee (ASC) def. Ashley Koehler/Allie Watkins (SAL), 8-3
3) Nikki Langford/Camille Wilson (ASC) def. Ayla Pruitt/Deanna Wilkins (SAL), 8-1
1) C. Rinaldo (ASC) def. Akers (SAL), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4
2) Hoffman (ASC) def. Koehler (SAL), 6-3, 6-2
3) Morgan (SAL) def. A. Rinaldo (ASC), 7-5, 7-5
4) Wilkins (SAL) def. Lee (ASC), 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
5) Langford (ASC) def. Samantha Story (SAL), 6-1, 6-1
6) Anastasia Bennett (ASC) def. Pruitt (SAL), 6-3, 6-2