Rachel Hartley beat Abbey Angelle 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 singles Friday to clinch Mobile's 5-4 women's tennis victory against crosstown rival Spring Hill in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at Copeland-Cox Tennis Center. The win secured Mobile a spot in the NAIA National Tournament at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in May as the host institution.
The victory was the sixth in the row for the second-seeded Lady Rams (12-4), who advanced to the championship round at 6 p.m. Friday against top-seeded Xavier. Mobile defeated Xavier in the 2008 final.
Hartley's triumph came after third-seeded Spring Hill (4-5) tied the match at 4 on 6-0, 6-0 victories by Lynne Fritscher and Gina Pambianchi. Hartley and Zelie Pfeiffer also won 8-3 at No. 1 doubles against Angelle and Allison Symulevich.
Mobile reached the championship match for the sixth consecutive year and has beaten Spring Hill in the semifinals each time. Friday's victory assured the Lady Rams of a berth in next month's NAIA National Championship as the host team. Copeland-Cox will be the NAIA's tournament site for the sixth straight year.
Mobile won two of three duals against Spring Hill this season, all 5-4 decisions.
Semifinals - April 24
Mobile 5, Spring Hill 4
No. 1 - Claudia Borges (UM) d. Paige Malone (SHC) 6-0, 6-2.
No. 2 - Zelie Pfeiffer (UM) d. McCall Hedrick (SHC) 6-1, 6-1.
No. 3 - Rachel Hartley (UM) d. Abbey Angelle (SHC), 6-3, 6-1.
No. 4 - Lynne Fritscher (SHC) d. Jordan Wiggins (UM) 6-0, 6-0.
No. 5 - Alex Tovar (SHC) d. Kari Williams (UM) 6-1, 6-0.
No. 6 - Gina Pambianchi (SHC) d. Alana McDaniel (UM) 6-0, 6-0.
No. 1 - Rachel Hartley-Zelie Pfeiffer (UM) d. Abbey Angelle-Allison Symulevich (SHC) 8-3.
No. 2 - McCall Hedrick-Alex Tovar (SHC) d. Alana McDaniel-Jordan Wiggins (UM) 8-0.
No. 3 - Claudia Borges-Kari Williams (UM) d. Lynne Fritscher-Paige Malone (SHC) 8-5.
Order of Finish: Doubles - 2, 1, 3. Singles - 5, 1, 2, 4, 6, 3.
Clinching Match: No. 3 singles - Rachel Hartley (UM) d. Abbey Angelle (SHC) 6-3, 6-1.
Records: Mobile (#2 seed) 12-4, Spring Hill (#3 seed) 4-5.
Mobile will play Xavier (#1 seed) for the championship at 6 p.m. Friday.
(Courtesy of Xavier (La.) Sports Information)