Lions earn split on day one in Orlando with 9-0 win over Salve Regina

(Piedmont Athletics Communications)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Piedmont women’s tennis team earned a split on Sunday, with a win over Salve Regina and a loss to Bethel (MN).

On the first day of competition of the team’s spring break trip, the Lions began the day with a 9-0 shutout of Salve Regina before concluding the day against Bethel with a 7-2 loss at the hands of the undefeated Royals.

Match 1: Piedmont 9, Salve Regina 0

Although the Lions were pushed to the limit in multiple matches against the Seahawks, they prevailed in all nine to earn another sweep.

The win marked No. 99 in Head Coach Trey Martin‘s tenure.

Piedmont picked up a pair of dominant wins to start off doubles play, with the No. 3 team of Kenzie Imsand and Dakota Wilkes, along with the No. 1 team of Bri Laidman and Abbey Grace Venham each winning 8-2 to make it 2-0.

Then, at No. 2 doubles, it was Marion Sloyan and Jordan Ballard prevailing 8-6 in a hard-fought match to make it 3-0 Lions heading to singles.

It was the veterans who made short work of the Seahawks to start singles and close out the win for Piedmont. First, Wilkes rolled to a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 2 while Venham earned the clinch, winning 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1.

With the win in hand, Piedmont continued to pour it on as Ballard cruised (6-0, 6-2) at No. 3.

Freshman Brooklyn Bolch had to battle a bit in the second set, but was nonetheless able to close it out in two (6-1, 6-4).

The Seahawks pushed the Lions into third-set match tiebreakers at No. 4 and No. 6, but both times, the Lions were up to the task. It was Sarah Row first, who prevailed 10-8 in the breaker to win (6-2, 1-6, 10-8) while freshman Olivia Carpenter battled back from dropping her first to win (1-6, 6-1, 10-5) and complete the shutout.

It marked Piedmont’s sixth 9-0 win of the season.

Match 2: Bethel 7, Piedmont 2

All three doubles matches were hard-fought between the Lions and Royals, with Bethel coming out ahead 2-1 going into singles.

Piedmont’s No. 2 doubles team of Bolch and Mia Vasher fell by an 8-4 margin while Sarah Row and Abby Gayle Moody fell 8-5 at No. 3. However, the No. 1 doubles team of McSpadden and Venham outlasted the tough Royals team of Julia Baber and Lauryn Douglas, 8-6, at No. 1 to put a key point on the board for the Lions.

Unfortunately, needing three points in singles to clinch the match, Bethel was able to close out two-set wins at No. 5, No. 3 and then No. 2 to clinch at 5-1.

From there, the Lions battled in the remaining three matches. Imsand delivered an impressive 6-3, 7-5 win at No. 6 to make it 5-2. The final two matches went into third-set match tiebreakers, as Sloyan (6-4, 3-6, 4-10) won her first set against a tough opponent in Douglas before falling in the second and then in her third-set breaker. Dannie Evans (2-6, 6-4, 6-10) battled back after losing her first set to force a third-set breaker, which she was unable to come out on top in.

Up next, the Lions will be back in action with two matches on Tuesday as they battle Anderson Univ. (Ind.) and Shippensburg.

Abbey Grace Venham delivered the clinching win at No. 1 singles in the first match of the day before teaming with McSpadden to win a highly contested doubles match, 8-6, at No. 1 against Bethel.

– Head Coach Trey Martin will go for his 100th career win on Tuesday.

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