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No. 19 Brandeis edges No. 30 women's tennis, 5-4

WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Bates women's tennis team fell 5-4 at Brandeis on Sunday, but the Bobcats seem to keep improving during an already terrific season.

No. 30 nationally ranked Bates (8-6) finished in sixth place in the three-day, eight-team Nor'Easter Bowl, while the 19th-ranked Judges (12-2) took fifth place, after a rematch from March 31, when Brandeis defeated Bates 6-3 in Merrill Indoor Gym. Six of the eight teams in the tourney were nationally ranked. All three of the matches ended in 5-4 scores for the Bobcats, including Friday's loss to No. 18 Wellesley and Saturday's win over MIT.

Bates first-year Elena Mandzhukova (Lisbon, Portugal) turned the tables on the Judges in this matchup, winning at both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles after losing to the same opponents eight days earlier. Mandzhukova teamed with senior Meg Anderson (Cohasset, Mass.) to win 8-6 at first doubles over Carley Cooke and Faith Broderick. After losing to Cooke eight days ago in three sets, the first-year standout got the best of Cooke today, by a 6-3, 6-4 score.

Bates also won at second doubles, with juniors Ashley Brunk (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Nicole Russell (Boca Raton, Fla.) repeating their previous 8-6 decision over Alexa Katz and Nina Levine.

Bates senior captain Erika Blauth (Camden, Maine) defeated Brandeis's Alexa Katz by a more decisive score than eight days prior.  Brandeis's Allyson Bernstein got the better of junior captain Jacqui Holmes (Harvard, Mass.) once again, but by a far closer score this time.

The Bobcats next play at NESCAC opponent Tufts on April 16 at 1pm.

Brandeis 5, Bates 4
April 8, 2012 at Brandeis

1. Elena Mandzhukova/Meg Anderson (Bates) def. Carley Cooke/Faith Broderick (Brandeis) 8-6
2. Nicole Russell/Ashley Brunk (Bates) def. Nina Levine/Allyson Berstein (Brandeis) 8-6
3. Dylan Schlesinger/Simone Vandroff (Brandeis) def. Jacqui Holmes/Lucy Brennan (Bates) 8-4

1. Mandzhukova (Bates) def. Cooke (Brandeis) 6-3, 6-4
2. Broderick (Brandeis) def. Anderson (Bates) 6-1, 6-1
3. Bernstein (Brandeis) def. Holmes (Bates) 6-?, 7-6(4)
4. Erika Blauth (Bates) def. Alexa Katz (Brandeis) 6-2, 6-3
5. Vandroff (Brandeis) def. Brennan (Bates) 6-2, 7-6(4)
6. Bergstein (Brandeis) def. Brunk (Bates) 6-1, 1-6, 6-4