The Gustavus Adolphus doubles team of seniors Tara Houlihan and Lyndsey Palen advanced to the championship final of the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championships with a pair of wins Sunday in Santa Cruz, Calif. Due to rainy conditions in Northern California, play was moved indoors to Club Sport Pleasanton.
The Gustie tandem, who are the defending NCAA doubles champions, downed Tatiana Steinberg and Jenna Umeno of the University of Redlands 6-0, 6-1 in the Sunday afternoon quarterfinals before sidelining Carnegie Mellon’s Mona Iyer and Amy Staloch 6-4, 6-1 in Sunday night’s semifinals.
The Gustie tandem will face DePauw’s Liz Bondi and Amrita Padda in Monday’s final. Bondi and Padda defeated Katie Tabb and Ginny Wortham of Washington & Lee 7-5, 6-2 in the other semifinal. The DePauw doubles team defeated the Gustavus duo 8-6 earlier this season during the championship match of the Midwest Dual Team Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin.
By reaching the quarterfinal round, Houlihan and Palen were guaranteed of All-America status for the third consecutive season as a doubles team. Palen becomes a four-time All-American, also receiving the honor as a first-year in 2003 with partner Kara Smiley.