INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — For the first time since last April, Eudice Chong '18 and Victoria Yu '19 lost a doubles match. The defending NCAA and ITA National Champions had their incredible run ended on Friday afternoon at the hands of Ole Miss, defeating them 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the ITA Fall National Championships.
The Ole Miss team of Alexa Bortles and Arianna Hartono proved to be too much on this day, hitting massive groundstrokes from the start and never allowing the Cardinal pair to get as comfortable at the net as they had been in their previous matches. Still, Chong and Yu continued to bring lots of energy and looked to have established some rhythm at the beginning of the second set, but it was short-lived, as Ole Miss continued to play overpowering tennis from the baseline.
Bortles and Hartono were unseeded in the tournament, but have a wealth of experience together as a team, having finished last spring as the 25th ranked team in Division I. Hartono is also a former All-American and two-time All-SEC selection. With the win, they advance to the semifinals, where they will face a team from Georgia Tech.
Earlier in the day, Chong was back in action in singles, facing Cal-Berkeley's Anna Bright. The three-time defending NCAA Division III Champion came out firing, taking the first set in impressive fashion 6-2. Bright, a freshman who was ranked the No. 2 recruit in the country, bounced back well, however. The Golden Bear upped her game to even the match with a 6-2 second set, and was rock solid in the third, overcoming Chong for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory in the round of 16 consolation match.
With their losses, Wesleyan's unprecedented run comes to a close, but not before making a significant statement. This year marked the first time that Division III champions were granted entry into the Division I national championship tournament, and Chong and Yu were one of only eight teams out of 32 that advanced to the quarterfinals. In singles, Chong proved to be far from an easy out, dropping both of her matches in tough three setters.
With the Cardinals headed home, the fall season is now completely finished. Chong and Yu won't be back in action until March when Wesleyan begins it's dual match season during a trip back to California over spring break.