Rife's nail-biter at No. 6 singles solidifies Women's Tennis's spot in OAC Tournament finals

By Monique Bowman

MASON — Freshman Lauren Rife (North Canton/Hoover) posted a come-from-behind victory at No. 6 singles to advance the Ohio Northern women's tennis team to the final round of the 2011 OAC Women's Tennis Tournament held at the Linder Family Tennis Center.

The top-seeded Polar Bears won the match 5-4 over the fourth-seeded Cardinals.

In the last match to hit the court, Rife won the first set 6-2 before falling in the next, 2-6. Then, down 5-2 in the deciding set, Rife took the next five games for the eventual 7-5 win.

Ohio Northern moves to 21-5 overall and advances to tomorrow's (Saturday) finals against No. 2 seed Baldwin-Wallace. Otterbein closes out its season 14-9.

The Polar Bears started the day with two wins at second and third doubles.

Freshman Emily Mueller (Vermillion/Elyria Catholic) teamed with Rife for an 8-2 win at No. 2 doubles, while sophomore Christie Gales (Westerville/Village Academy) and freshman Kelsi Wurm (Findlay) also posted an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles.

At No. 3 singles, Muller again notched a win with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Otterbein's Brook Trine. Wurm picked up a win at No. 5 singles over Andrea Bennett, 6-4, 6-1.

Looking forward, ONU faces a B-W squad that is now 17-7 overall after a 5-0 win today over No. 3 seed John Carroll. The Polar Bears triumphed 6-3 in the last meeting with the Yellow Jackets in mid-April.