MOBILE, Ala. – The Olivet Nazarene University women’s tennis team drew a tough pool at the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Tennis Championship. Two of the three teams the Tigers were paired up will be NCAA Div. II next season, Azusa Pacific University (Cal.) and Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fla.). The third team was the always competitive Campbellsville University (Ky.). But the Tigers managed to come away 1-2 and are well practiced heading into the NAIA National Championships next week.
Olivet (17-8) opened pool play on Tuesday, May 7 against Palm Beach Atlantic (16-6). The Tigers fell 5-0 with the closest match being at No. 1 doubles where junior Aziza Butoyi (Burundi, Bujumbura) and freshman Seraphine Buchmann (Illnau, Switzerland) fell 8-4 to Veena Vasquez and Vicky Baca. Buchmann was defeating Baca 5-7, 0-3 at the time the fifth and final match was decided, giving the Sailfish the win.
The second match of the day mirrored the first. This time it was Azusa Pacific who downed the Tigers 5-0. Again Butoyi and Buchmann fell 8-4 in the top doubles spot. And once again Buchmann was winning in the No. 2 singles spot (4-6, 5-4) when the match was decided.
In the third and final match for the Tigers jumped on Campbellsville early, winning two-of-three doubles matches. Butoyi and Buchmann downed Anna Tumanyan and Haley Dallas 9-7, while seniors Taylor Stephens (Ada, Mich.) and Ashlan Allison (Anderson, Ind.) defeated Jenna Sallee and Megan Charity 9-8(6).
Butoyi then defeated Tumanyan 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in No. 1 singles, while Buchmann made quick work of M. Charity at No. 2 singles 6-3, 6-2. Allison picked up a win at No. 4 singles, coming back to defeat Sallee 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. At the time the matched ended, Olivet was also leading at No. 3 and 6 singles. Stephens was up 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3 over Lindy Charity and Clara Ruegsegger (Greenfield, Ind.) was up 3-6, 6-3, 6-5) over Kelsie Peckham.
Olivet will take a few days to rest and recuperate before playing in their opening match of the 2013 NAIA Women’s Tennis National Championships. The tournament is held May 14 - 18 in Mobile, Ala. The Tigers will open against Davenport University (Mich.) at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14. Should the Tigers advance, they would face Brenau University (Ga.) at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.