SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's tennis team will head south on Wednesday, to face off with Christopher Newport University in each team's opening match of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament. The semifinal tilt will begin at 3:30 p.m.
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How we got here
Salisbury went 5-2 in CAC play to earn the No. 3 seed in the field. The Sea Gulls only lost to top-seeded University of Mary Washington and Christopher Newport. In the team's five CAC wins, four went by 9-0 scores, with only York College of Pennsylvania picking up three points against Salisbury. Sophomore Shannon Hickman heads into the CAC tournament with a 5-1 mark in CAC singles play and 1-0 in doubles against league competition.
How they got here
The Captains went 6-1 in CAC action this season, only falling to top-seeded Mary Washington. In the team's six wins, Christopher Newport dropped only two points, one to Salisbury and the other to York. Against Mary Washington, the Captains gained two points, winning at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.
Scouting the Captains
Christopher Newport enters Wednesday's match ranked No. 23 in the nation and seventh in the Atlantic South Region, with two singles players and one doubles team ranked in the region. Johanna Ranta-aho is the No. 17-ranked player in the region and McKinney Harwood is currently ranked No. 24. Ranta-aho brings a 20-6 record into the semifinal contest. Harwood is teamed with Alexandra Drye in doubles play to be ranked No. 3 in the region, with a 10-8 record this season, including 3-0 in CAC matches.
Last time we met
The teams squared off last Tuesday, April 11 in a match that decided who would be the No. 2 seed and host Wednesday's semifinal match, with Christopher Newport picking up an 8-1 win. The Captains took three hard-fought doubles matches, with the most wide-spread score being 8-4. Salisbury was able to claim its point at No. 1 singles were freshman Annika Kezman picked up a 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory against Harwood.
A four-year contributor
When the Sea Gulls hit the courts in 2018 it will be the first time that the team has competed without Claudia Lohn in four years. This playoff run will be the conclusion of a four-year career which has found Lohn as one of the most successful players in program history. Lohn has posted a career 40-30 record in singles play, and has gone 48-26 in doubles competition. Her singles win total stands seventh in the program history and the 48 doubles triumphs are fifth.
The winner of Wednesday's match will advance to the CAC championship match against the winner of the other semifinal. Top-seeded University of Mary Washington will take on fourth-seeded York in that match. The championship tilt is set for Saturday, April 22.