ROCK HILL — The Newberry women’s tennis team came up one match short of a conference title, as the Wolves fell 5-4 at the Rock Hill Tennis Center to the Tusculum Pioneers in the 2014 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Championship title match.
Newberry (17-8) fell behind Tusculum (22-2) early as the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament picked up a win at the third doubles spot. Senior Marina Ziehe and sophomore Vanessa Ortiz evened the score line with a 9-7 victory at No. 2 over Erin Mills and Adrienne Kaye.
The No. 1 doubles match saw a tight battle as well, but Newberry seniors Romina Adum and Susana Aguirre earned a 9-7 victory over Kate Hutchinson and Kealee Heffner to give Newberry a 2-1 advantage heading into singles play.
Singles play did not go Newberry’s way early as the Wolves dropped matches at No. 5 and No. 4 singles to give the Pioneers a 3-2 lead. Aguirre looked to right the ship as she cruised to a two-set victory over Sarah Baker at No. 1 singles.
With the team match knotted at 3-3 and two matches headed to a third set, the Wolves dropped a third team point to the Pioneers with a loss at No. 6 singles.
Ortiz evened the match back up by winning the second and third sets against Hutchinson, but before long Mills finished her three-set victory over Adum at No. 2 to give the Pioneers the decisive point in the conference championship match.
The Wolves’ runner-up finish in the SAC Championship gives the Wolves a 17-8 overall record at the conclusion of the 2014 schedule. Newberry’s last appearance in the conference tournament finals came in 2007, where the Wolves fell to No. 1-seed Presbyterian. The Wolves reached the first round of the NCAA Tournament that season.