Braves Pick Up PBC Win In Marathon Match
PEMBROKE – Mia Winterbottom toughed out a 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory at No. 2 singles to give host UNCP the deciding point as the Braves picked up their first Peach Belt Conference victory of the season with a 5-4 win over Georgia Southwestern in a match that lasted more than four hours at the UNCP Varsity Tennis Courts on Sunday afternoon.
The win gave UNCP (5-8, 1-4 PBC) its fourth win in the last seven outings, while also keeping the Braves perfect in four meetings all-time with the Hurricanes (4-10, 0-8). The setback marked the fourth-straight loss for Georgia Southwestern as well. The Black and Gold trailed the match by a 4-1 count, but won each of the last four singles matches on the courts to seal the victory.
Doubles play was indicative as to the type of day it would be as the two teams split a pair of 8-5 outcomes on courts two and three, while Leady Cuellar and Lauren Grogan gave the Hurricanes the 2-1 lead heading into singles play with an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles over Jenna McGary and Janna Oxendine.
Cuellar topped McGary 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, while Grogan bested Meredith Pierson 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3 singles to give the visitors a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 lead, but that would be all the team points GSW would muster on the day. Janna Oxendine defeated Melinda Vansant 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5 singles and Christian Minnick ousted Katie Adamson 6-3,6-1 on court No. 6 to bring UNCP to within one and set the tables for a pair of deciding marathon bouts.
Maricel Quintero-Prieto rebounded from a tough loss in the second set to win her No. 4 singles match with Monica Osam, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2. Winterbottom and her No. 2 singles opponent, Mollie McGowan, stayed on the court for more than three hours before the UNCP freshman exited with the second win in her last three singles matches.
UNCP will step back out of conference again on Wednesday when it heads to Mount Olive for a 2:30 p.m. matchup with the Trojans (2-5). Georgia Southwestern will be back in action on Friday when it hosts West Alabama at the Susan K. Smith Tennis Complex.