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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
The Observer

Saints' five-match winning streak snapped by St. Francis

With just two matches left in their regular season, the Holy Cross women's tennis team was on a hot streak. After a 2-6 stretch from Jan. 20 to Mar. 25 had the Saints reeling, Holy Cross has stepped up their game since reaching conference play. Their first four matches of CCAC play were all victories — and not close ones. After winning a non-conference game on Mar. 31 against Marian University, the Saints rattled off four straight victories. That's impressive on its own, but even more incredible when you consider the Saints won those matches by a combined margin of 19-0. That's despite not being able to rack up any points in their last contest against Judson University, when they won via forfeit on April 15.

However, perhaps the extra rest worked against the streaking Saints. Holy Cross was unable to extend its winning streak on Tuesday afternoon, dropping a close 4-3 match to St. Francis. The loss drops the Saints to 9-6 on the season and 4-1 in conference play. St. Francis is now even in the CCAC standings with a 4-1 conference record of their own and a strong overall mark of 11-6.

Winning this match was always going to be a difficult task for the Saints, winning streak or not. St. Francis came into this match an impressive 5-1 at home and on the heels of a 4-0 win over St. Ambrose University. And this was an especially important game to St. Francis, as it's the final home match of their season — and their final match period, in fact. Though junior Anna Beer and freshman Victoria Savvides won their doubles contest, their match didn't go final until after St. Francis had already won the other two doubles matches, and the point.

Singles play did not go much better for Holy Cross. Though Beer and senior Claire Ruediger won the first two singles matches, the other four Saints could not get the job done. Three of the final four matches were decided by less than two points, as the Saints came painstakingly close to putting St. Francis away but failed to deliver the finishing blow.

The loss drops Holy Cross to 0-3 on the road all-time against St. Francis. They are 2-1 all-time against St. Francis at home. However, the Saints will not return home the rest of the regular season. Their penultimate contest is Friday at 11 a.m. against the University of Northwestern Ohio. The match is the Saints' final non-conference game on their schedule.