Last Wednesday, the Williams women’s tennis team convincingly silenced its Little Three rivals from Wesleyan. Coming off of a stellar performance in the ITA Regionals, whose national counterpart the Ephs will be unable to attend due to NESCAC championships. The Ephs kept their momentum going, and bringing Williams’ record to 4-0.
The Ephs won all of the singles, losing nary a set. Selma Kikic ’02 dropped one game en route to a 6-1,6-0 victory over Wesleyan’s Nina Zeitlin, while Caroline Wasserman ’03 took down Allison Rouner 6-0, 6-2. Although these numbers make the victories look easy, Tracy Cheung ’03, who beat Tarsah Dale by the score of 6-2, 6-1, acknowledged the strength of the Wesleyan squad.
“We played a tough match,” she said, “We came out ready to play.”
In addition to the convincing victories of the team’s leading players, Kikic and Wasserman, Alison Swain ’01played carefully and confidently, winning her match 6-3, 6-3.
New addition Kate Troy ’04 had little difficulty with Wesleyan’s Dina Guth, 6-2, 6-3.
Kelly Shcunic played an intense and exciting match against Tina Howe ’03 of Williams, who won the first set by a hard-earned 7-5 score and then had no problems in the second set. The team’s spirit and energy ran high during the singles, strengthened perhaps by the sun’s short appearance between patches of gray clouds.
The doubles was hardly a different story.
The doubles matches demanded all of the concentration and strength of both teams, since many of the players had already played tough singles matches, and Wesleyan struggled to get back into the match.
Wasserman and her partner Steph Hall triumphed by an 8-4 margin; Kikic and Cheung, after looking unbeatable in the singles, earned an 8-5 victory over Dale and Zeitlin.
Swain and Troy had less success, falling victim to their Wesleyan counterparts. Overall, though, the Eph victory was convincing.
The match left head coach Julie Greenwood all smiles about her team’s future. The Ephs figure prominently in the national title picture, as do the Lord Jeffs of Amherst, the final member of the Little Three triumvirate.
“I am excited to have won the first leg of the Little Three,” Greenwood said, expressing her well-founded optimism. Though tennis is an individual sport, the Ephs showed much support for each other, rallying behind their teammates during the intense doubles play.
Although the first Little Three match proved to be relatively easily won by the Ephs, they feel the pressure of the talented Jeffs.
“I think we are ready to take them on, and beat them like we did last year,” Cheung predicted. Greenwood added optimistically, “I’m looking forward to hopefully winning the second leg next week.”
The team’s next game is this Saturday, Oct. 14, when the team will travel to Amherst for an 11 a.m. match. If the team does meet its expectations once again, there should be some very interesting matches to watch.