Allen, Leong Capture Oracle ITA Cup National Doubles Championship

Allen, Leong Capture Oracle ITA Cup National Doubles Championship

ROME, Ga. - Senior Catherine Allen and first-year Justine Leong clicked on all cylinders as they captured the Division III doubles championship with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Sophie Henderson and Kristina Yu of Wesleyan at the Oracle ITA Cup at the Rome Tennis Center on Saturday morning.

Allen and Leong will also play against each other in the ITA singles championship back in Claremont, with the winner moving on to the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Newport Beach, California Nov. 6-9 for the chance to compete against some of the nation's top Division I players. The match was scheduled for Georgia, but due to rain on Saturday and a delayed start on Sunday, the match was postponed until the teammates return. 

It marks the second year in a row that Allen has won the ITA Cup doubles championship. Last year, she and Caroline Cox earned a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win over Carnegie Mellon in the finals before also adding the NCAA Division III Doubles Championship in the spring (defeating teammates Sarah Bahsoun and Nicole Tan in the championship match). This year, Cox is studying abroad in the fall, and Allen paired with Leong to repeat as champions. 

Wesleyan put up a fight in the second set after it looked like the CMS team was going to cruise to an easy win. Allen and Leong led 6-0, 4-1 and had a couple of break points to take a 5-1 lead. The Cardinals team fought them off for the hold, and then broke the Athenas to get back on serve at 4-3. 

The Cardinals had game point on their serve to try to get back level at 4-4, but after a couple of deuces, the Athenas were able to break back for a 5-3 lead and then went ahead 40-15 to earn two match points. Wesleyan got back to deuce, but Allen won a point at the net to give CMS its third match point, and when a Cardinal shot missed wide, CMS had the match and the Division III championship trophy. 

After winning the Division III championship, Allen and Leong went on to compete in the ITA Cup Doubles Championship for all divisions, pitting the champions from Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA against each other. Allen and Leong went up against the junior college champions from Tyler Community College on Sunday and took the first set 6-2, but ended up falling in a third-set tiebreaker (2-6, 6-3, 11-9).