Although the final score says 5-2, the score does not accurately depict the match.
The air is always thick with tension when Lipscomb and Belmont compete head-to-head. Tuesday was no exception when both teams stepped onto the courts at Belmont’s Davis Tennis Complex.
At the start of the match, both teams held 0-9 conference records. The teams were equally matched.
As doubles play began, the Lady Bisons made a strong statement by taking an early lead over Belmont. Lipscomb secured wins at both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, allowing them to clinch the doubles point and capture a 1-0 lead over the Bruins.
Freshman Mackenzie Bishop and sophomore Elizabeth Keevil downed Abby Leatherwood and Laura Stack by a score of 8-4 at the No. 1 spot.
At the No. 2 position, junior Kara Jackson and sophomore Danielle Hansen overpowered Belmont’s Abigail Hogan and Natalia Nunes 8-2.
Lipscomb’s lone doubles loss came at No. 3. Junior Julianne McMeen and freshman Carlina Jow were defeated by Lindsay Bennett and Lauren Irick 8-1.
With a confident 1-0 lead, the Lady Bisons entered into singles play.
Evening the score to 1-1, Bishop came off court first for the Bisons at No. 1. Facing Belmont’s A-Sun honoree for the 2008-2009 season, Bishop played a tight first set. After taking a 3-0 lead, Bishop fell to 6-6. Bishop lost in the first set tiebreaker 7-5. Leatherwood upped her game in the second set, giving the Bruins the point with the 7-6 (5), 6-2 defeat.
Lipscomb regained the lead, advancing to 2-1 over the Bruins, with a win at No. 2 singles. Keevil ran up a 4-1 lead over Stack in the first set. But allowing Stack to get in a groove, the score was evened at 6-6 once again for the Lady Bisons. However, this time Lipscomb took the set. Keevil dominated the tiebreaker, winning 7-4. With the first set under her belt, Keevil went on to win the second set with a little more ease, giving Keevil the match 7-6 (4), 6-4.
Hansen came off court next at No. 3 singles. Putting up a valiant fight, it was not enough for Hansen to take the win. After Hansen won the first set 6-4, her opponent, Abbey Hogan, came back to win the second set in a tiebreaker 7-3. In the third set, Hogan took an early lead over Hansen and secured the third set win 6-2. Facing much defiance on the court and questionable officiating, Hansen suffered a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 loss, evening the match to 2-2.
Playing No. 5 for the first time, due to a last minute coaching decision, McMeen came off court next. Although she put up a tough fight, in the end McMeen came up short of the victory. McMeen was defeated by Nunes 6-1, 6-1, giving the Bruins a 3-2 lead over the Lady Bisons.
Jackson faced Bennett at No. 4 singles, coming off court shortly after McMeen. Jackson could not find the victory, allowing the Bruins to clinch the match with a 4-2 lead. Jackson fell to Bennett after coming back in the second set 6-2, 6-4.
Sophomore Samantha Bowman made her debut appearance at No. 6 singles for the Lady Bisons. Competing in her first conference match of the season, Bowman played a close match against experienced junior, Lauren Irick. After losing the first set 6-2, Bowman fought back to win the second set in a tiebreaker. However, experience prevailed when Bowman succumbed to Irick in a tiebreaker substituting for the third set. Bowman’s 6-2, 7-6, 10-8 defeat, ran Belmont’s lead up to a 5-2 victory.
The Lady Bisons played their closest and hardest fought match against their rival. Although they did not earn the win, it goes without saying that the fight they put up was commendable.
The Lady Bisons end their conference season with a 0-10 record.
Lipscomb’s final match will be on Saturday, April 10 at Lipsomb’s soon to be dedicated Tennis Complex. The Lady Bisons will face North Alabama for the second time this season. Lipscomb took the victory in the first meeting.
1. Mackenzie Bishop/ Elizabeth Keevil (LU) def. Abby Leatherwood/Laura Stack (BEL) 8-4
2. Danielle Hansen/ Kara Jackson (LU) def. Abigail Hogan/Natalia Nunes (BEL) 8-2
3. Lindsay Bennett/Lauren Irick (BEL) def. Julianne McMeen/ Carlina Jow (LU) 8-1
1. Leatherwood (BEL) def. Bishop (LU) 7-5 (5), 6-2
2. Keevil (LU) def. Stack (BEL) 7-6(4), 6-4
3. Hogan (BEL) def. Hansen (LU) 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2
4. Bennet (BEL) def. Jackson (LU) 6-2, 6-4
5. Nunes (BEL) def. McMeen (LU) 6-1, 6-1
6. Irick (BEL) def. Bowman (LU) 6-2, 6-7, 10-8
Written by Ashlan Williams, student assistant in the athletics media relations department.