Courtesy of Edgewood College, Sports Information Department
KOHLER, Wis. -- New format, new location, same result. The Edgewood College women's tennis team defeated two opponents in the first-ever Northern Athletics Conference Team Tournament and clinched the automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third consecutive season. The Eagles shutout Dominican University 5-0 in a semifinal match, before defeating NAC co-champion Benedictine University 5-1 in the final.
Edgewood College (17-11) won two of three doubles matches to grab a 2-1 lead in the championship dual. Amber Hemp and Jessi Ditzler ran their Central Region record to 21-0 and each of them won their 30th doubles match of the season with an 8-4 victory over Benedictine's MaryClare Loughery and Tiffany Wakim at No. 2 doubles. Shae Beckwith and Hannah Pincsak took an 8-6 victory at No. 1 doubles. The only blip on the radar for the Eagles today was an 8-2 setback to Brittany Storhoff and Ali Diamond-Tumbush at the No. 3 position.
The team gave no reason for head coach Ben Oestreich to worry, however. Dtizler and Beckwith rolled through their singles matches by identical 6-1, 6-0 scores. When Hemp finished off Wakim at No. 2 singles 6-1, 6-1, Edgewood College had the fifth and deciding point needed to end the match a secure the program's third straight NCAA appearance.
In the semifinal match, Edgewood College defeated a short-handed Dominican University, who had just five players giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead before the match began. Edgewood College swept the two remaining doubles matches and Storhoff knocked off Monica Budzak 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 singles to clinch the shutout victory.
Edgewood College will be making their fourth national tournament appearance in history. In addition to the current streak of three NCAA Tournaments, the Eagles played in the 1994 NAIA National Championships. The championship bracket and the location of the Eagles' assigned regional site will be revealed on Monday.