SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University women's tennis team faced its toughest Division III test of the young 2015 season on Saturday, battling Millsaps College at the Salisbury University Indoor Tennis Center, coming away with an 8-1 win.
The Sea Gulls entered the match ranked No. 10 in the Atlantic South Region, while the Majors entered as the No. 12 team.
Salisbury saw the first point of the day come from No. 3 doubles where senior Allison Lutz and freshman Megan Soderlund ran away with an 8-1 win. It took a long game, breaking Millsaps' Madison Brennan's service game, but that gave the Sea Gulls control, up 2-0, and following a quick hold of serve by Lutz, they never looked back.
The No. 2 pair of sophomore Claudia Lohn and freshman Charlotte Walker pulled away to an early lead, and held off a late push for an 8-4 win. Salisbury's pair led 5-0 before the Majors picked up a break, and got to 5-3, but two games was as close as the match would be the rest of the way.
The top doubles pair of senior Katie Youlios and junior Natalie Savage grabbed a break of serve, holding off Ashley Ford's service effort, in the opening game, but Youlios' would be broken, squaring the match at 1-1. The Millsaps pair would break serve twice more, for a 5-1 lead before Youlios and Savage grabbed their second point, and Savage held serve to get it back to 5-3. After getting to 5-4 down, the Sea Gulls dropped a service game, but broke back, to remain within striking distance, 6-5.
A quick service hold by Savage, at love, drew the match even at 6-6, and the Gulls would break Ford again to take a 7-6 lead. With all the momentum, Youlios served out the match, staving off one break-point chance for Millsaps, for the 8-6 win over Ford and partner Deena Li Kam Wa, who entered ranked as the No. 11 doubles team in the region.
In singles play, Salisbury needed just two points to secure the win and did just that, as Lohn, at No. 3, and Youlios, at No. 2, got the needed points to close things out.
After trailing 1-0, Lohn came back to pick up the next two games, putting the No. 3 singles match back on serve. A break midway gave the Salisbury sophomore an advantage, and she served out the set, 6-3, and would roll to the 6-0 win in the second set.
Youlios grabbed the first game against Ford, before a break put her down 2-1. But the Salisbury senior would come right back to get back on top, 3-2, and pick up the first set at No. 2 singles, 6-2. In the second, Youlios dropped the first game, and trailed 3-2, but would turn things around with a break of Ford's serve, and pull away for a 6-2 first-set win. Youlios would take the match with a 7-5 win in the second.
The Sea Gulls also earned wins from Soderlund, at No. 4 singles, and Lutz, as No. 5. Each player gave up just four games, with Soderlund winning 6-1, 6-3 and Lutz prevailing 6-3, 6-1.
Salisbury got its final point from No. 6 singles where Walker won by default.
Savage's match at No. 1 singles was the longest of the day, and the only to go three sets. Savage claimed the first set, 6-1 before seeing Li Kam Wa, who entered ranked No. 10 in the region, pick up the second, 6-4. The match came down to the third set, where Li Kam Wa picked up a 7-5 victory.
The Sea Gulls will play their next eight matches away from Salisbury, with their next home match scheduled for March 29 against York College of Pennsylvania.