April 24, 2013

Cianci Rallies to Send Gophers to Championship Match

Walsh and Lin Each Go 2-0 in Semifinal Victory

TOWSON, Md. — Kirsten Cianci (Bolton, Conn./Bolton) lost a first set tiebreaker, but rallied to earn the clinching point for Goucher, sending the Gophers to the Landmark Conference finals.

Goucher (12-4) got off to slow start, losing at No. 3 doubles to fall into a hole early. Juniata (13-6) was unable to capitalize, however, as the Gophers took the other two to take a 2-1 advantage into singles.

Ariel Lin (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) and Meaghan Lee (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill) took home an 8-6 win at top doubles moments before No. 2 completed.

Right on their heels, Alex Walsh (Greens Farm, Conn./Staples) and Addie Maxwell (Southwest Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) defeated Mitsuki Koh and Tori Gray 8-5. The two have now won seven straight matches together.

Lin made quick work of Heather Waring, 6-3, 6-0, to put the Gophers up 3-1. The win is Lin's tenth in a row at top singles.

After ceding No. 5 singles, the Gophers pulled within a match of winning when Walsh defeated Jacklyn Renninger 7-5, 6-3.

In a three-set match, Juniata took No. 4 singles, cutting the lead to 4-3.

With Lee battling in the third set on court two, Cianci rallied to defeat Yana Kohler 6-7 (8-10), 6-4, 6-1, clinching the Goucher victory.

The Gophers will host Scranton in the finals on Saturday at 1:00.

Since joining the Landmark conference, the Gophers have made the playoffs in three of the six seasons, reaching the finals in 2009. The program has never won a conference title.