NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – It's a habit that Manchester University head coach Eric Christiansen hopes his program gets used to.
A 5-0 victory for the fourth-seeded Spartans over Transylvania University Friday, Oct. 20, sent MU (5-5) into the league tournament semifinals for a second straight season after six successive campaigns of first-round defeats. As has been the case throughout the fall, MU fell back on its doubles play to provide the needed points for a second triumph in six days against the Pioneers.
The top squad of seniors Erin Cordill (Zionsville, Ind.) and Mariam Ali (Giza, Egypt); the number two pairing of Class of 2018 members Katy Ashpole (Leesburg, Ind.) and Katie Peden (North Manchester, Ind.) and the first-year tandem of Karly Eichenauer (North Manchester, Ind.) and Avis McGovern (North Vernon, Ind.) sparked the quarterfinal round shutout at West Indy Racquet Club. The first two duos improved to 7-2 (No. 1) and 7-3 (No. 2) with respective 8-1 and 8-6 decisions, while the freshman team moved just a win from .500 (4-5) with an 8-6 final.
After the doubles sweep, it was a matter of Cordill and Ali putting the finishing touches on the advancement. Cordill defeated Mary Grace Amato 6-1, 6-2, and Ali was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Merrick Irwin to send the Black and Gold into a 1 p.m. semifinal Saturday, Oct. 21, against top-seed and regular season champion Hanover.