U.S. WOMEN WIN BRONZE
AT 2017 WORLD TEAM CUP
Ashley Marshall | May 6, 2017
The U.S. women's team won its first World Team Cup medal in 14 years Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Switzerland in the bronze medal match in Sardinia, Italy.
It marks the 12th time the U.S. women have medaled in the 33-year history of the international competition, though the first since 2003, when it reached the final.
This year's women's team consisted of world No. 13 Dana Mathewson, 2012 Paralympian Mackenzie Soldan and world No. 90 Lauren Haneke-Hopps.
"I am so very proud of these girls this week," coach Paul Walker said. "We started out ranked No. 10 in the tournament and ended up with a medal.”
On Saturday, Mackenzie Soldan, from Tuscasoola, Ala., ground out a thrilling three-set victory over Karin Suter-Erath, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2, which lasted two hours and 15 minutes. San Diego native Dana Mathewson followed with a 6-0, 6-1 win against Gabriela Buhler to secure America's place on the podium. ADVERTISEMENT
The final doubles match scheduled between Mackenzie and Soldan against Suter-Erath and Nalani Buob was not played.
The third-place finish completes a fantastic week for the women's team, which finished eighth, sixth, seventh and ninth in the past four years.
The women's team defeated hosts Italy, 2-1, on the first day of the competition and won its pool it improved to 2-0 in pool play with victory over France by the same score two days later. That win ensured the U.S. topped Pool C and set up a semifinal against China, which won Pool B by winning 12 of 13 sets it played.
China defeated Team USA behind a pair of straight-sets singles victories Friday in the semifinals to advance to the gold-medal match, but the U.S. responded with Saturday's historic performance.
The last U.S. women's team to medal at the World Team Cup featured Beth Arnoult, Sharon Clark, Karin Korb and Hope Lewellen and was coached by Jim Buck in Sopot, Poland.
Team USA's other two teams are also in medal contention. The defending junior champions will go for gold on Sunday, while the quad team will play in the bronze-medal match. For more on all U.S. results from the 2017 World Team Cup, click here.