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Women's Tennis

Catherine Leduc claimed one of four singles wins for Saint Mary's on Friday.
Catherine Leduc claimed one of four singles wins for Saint Mary's on Friday.
WTEN | Team Effort Helps SMC Beat Oklahoma
Release: Friday 03/22/2013 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- When it is playing its best, the Saint Mary's women's tennis team can turn to any member of its lineup for a clutch contribution.

On Friday, the No. 52-ranked Gaels needed each and every player at one point or another, with a tense doubles victory paving the way for an eventual 5-2 victory over No. 26 Oklahoma at Korth Tennis Complex.

The intensity of a match between ranked teams was obvious from the very beginning on Friday, and it started with doubles.

Oklahoma (8-6) got started with a win at No. 1 doubles, as the No. 14-ranked team of Hermon Brhane and Whitney Ritchie outlasted Saint Mary's top team of Jenny Jullien and Danielle Flores 9-8 (7-2 in the tiebreaker).

That put the pressure on the Gaels' other teams, and they were ready to rise to the challenge.

Catherine Isip and Audrey Leitz, teaming for the first time this spring, evened the score with an 8-6 win over No. 77-ranked Whitney Wofford and Emma Devine.

Both teams lined up on court two as No. 3 doubles would decide the first point of the match.

With the support of their teammates -- and a vocal group of SMC men's tennis players -- Jade Frampton and Elizabeth Searl came up with the big 9-7 win over Mia Lancaster and Abbi Melrose, giving Saint Mary's the first point of the day.

The teams took a brief break, then got back to action in singles. Oklahoma would square the match at 1 with a win at No. 6, but Frampton put the Gaels back in front with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Melrose at No. 4.

Ritchie scored at No. 2 for Oklahoma to tie the match again. Catherine Leduc would again push Saint Mary's (8-6) back into the lead, with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Whitney Wofford.

Needing to win one of the remaining two matches to clinch the victory, the Gaels got the point they wanted and more.

First, it was Jullien who would wrap things up. The No. 18-ranked player in the country looked every bit the difference-maker with a 7-5, 7-6 (4) victory over No. 106 Hermon Brhane. That clinched the win for Saint Mary's.

Danielle Flores put the cap on a successful day, rallying for an impressive 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (1) victory at No. 3.

Saint Mary's now turns its attention to a big week of West Coast Conference action. The Gaels host San Diego on Tuesday at 11 a.m., then welcome BYU on Saturday at 11.