MOBILE, Ala. -- No. 18-ranked Indiana Wesleyan University defeated No. 13-ranked Coastal Georgia 7-2 this morning in the NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championship First Round in Mobile, Alabama.
The First Round victory is the second over Coastal Georgia in as many years and it marks the fourth consecutive season that Indiana Wesleyan will play in the Second Round. No. 2-ranked Georgia Gwinnett will be the next IWU opponent as they received one of the eight first round byes.
“What a match,” said an excited Indiana Wesleyan head coach Terry Porter. “We swept the doubles and then won No. 1 and No. 2-singles to get it done. This is a big, big win for our girls. They were a senior loaded team. Great win for us and now we play the No. 2 team in the country and we will give it our best shot.”
The Wildcats swept the Mariners in doubles play to take a 3-0 lead after the first set of matches.
Rachel Bottorff (FR/Newburgh, Ind.) and Rachael Heiniger (SR/Munster, Ind.) won No. 2-doubles 8-1 and Katie Wilson (SO/Middletown, Ind.) and Kim Mella (JR/Libertyville, Ill.) finished with an 8-1 victory at No. 1-doubles. Then, Courtney Siepman (SO/Plainfield, Ind.) and Kelsey Vessels (FR/Roanoke, Ind.) won an extremely competitive 9-8 (10-8) match at No. 3-doubles to earn the 3-0 advantage.
Bottorff won the first singles match with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 2 play. Coastal Georgia earned victories in the next two completed matches at No. 3 and No. 4 as Heiniger lost 6-2, 6-2 and Mella fell 6-1, 6-0. Wilson then clinched the First Round win with the fifth point at No. 1-singles by a 6-1, 6-3 score. Siepman won 6-4, 6-2 at No. 6-singles and Futrell claimed a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 win in the fifth match to close out the 7-2 victory.
Indiana Wesleyan returns to action at the NAIA National Championship Second Round tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET vs. No. 2-ranked Georgia Gwinnett.