Indian Wells, CA- Arizona Christian Women's Tennis will appear in their second straight GSAC Tournament Final thanks to an impressive rally by Junior Mikayla Morgan. The comeback win for Morgan gave second seed ACU the 5-4 win over third seed Lewis-Clark State on Wednesday.
The Warriors (7-13) won the first match of the afternoon with an 8-1 victory on doubles court two. But Morgan and Sophomore Tia Okano notched the first ACU win of the match with an 8-2 run through doubles court one. Sisters Freshmen Elizabeth Kelley and Jayci Kelley did some rallying of their own as they trailed in their number three doubles match about halfway through before mounting the comeback for the 8-6 win.
Heading into singles, the Firestorm (17-7) held what turned out to be a huge 2-1 edge.
Junior Autria Compton quickly took care of Stephanie Buckingham 6-1 and 6-2 on court three for a 3-1 ACU lead.
LCSC countered with wins on courts five (a three set affair) and then six to tie the team score at 3-3.
On court two, Okano held on for the 7-5 first set win. She wrapped up the win by taking the second set 6-1. The biggest obstacle for her was winning her fifth game of the second set. Ahead 4-1, Okano and Hannah Uhlenkott engaged in at least a 25 minute game that eventually went in favor of ACU.
Court four went the way of LCSC to tie the match at 4-4.
All attention then turned toward court one. In the opening set, Lewis-Clark State's Lauren Lang won 6-2. Lang was ahead in the early stages of the second set as well. But Morgan used the heat (high 90's) as her aid along with long rallies from the baseline to wear down Lang and win the second set 7-5. In the winner take all third set, Morgan jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back as she won 6-1 in the last set to punch ACU's ticket to the final.
Head Coach Chris Tolson commented, "I am so proud of the fight in this team. We have a group of ladies that thrive under pressure. It was a close match on every court and could have gone either way. But this team just refuses to give up. I am excited we are in the GSAC Conference Championship tomorrow and I hope we can continue this great run!"
On Thursday, the Firestorm will attempt to win their first GSAC Tournament Championship as they appear in the final for the second time in as many years. The ladies should benefit from a morning start of 9:00 am as they meet up with top seeded San Diego Christian at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.