Following an impressive undefeated spring break, women’s tennis routed a visiting Skidmore team 9-0 on Saturday. The win pushed the Ephs’ record to 7-0 and further boosted the confidence of a team that is playing excellent tennis.
The win on Saturday followed an intense spring break session for the team, during which they traveled cross-country, playing six matches and training in between. The team started out the break by traveling to southern California, where it first took part in two days of training.
With some practice time under their belts, the team first faced Point Loma University. Despite some lingering off-season rust, the Ephs played sound tennis and rolled to a 7-2 victory. The All-American doubles team of Selma Kikic ’02 and Steph Hall ’04 rolled to an easy 8-2 victory, while the teams of Tracy Cheung ’03 and Kate Troy ’04 and Jasmine Bradley ’02 and Julie Mallory ’04 both fought to 8-6 victories. In singles play Mallory, Troy, Hall and Bradley all won straight-set victories.
Two days later, the Ephs traveled to Claremont to take on UC Santa Cruz and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. In their first match against UC Santa Cruz, the team again cruised to an easy 8-1 victory. The doubles teams of Kikic/Hall and Bradley/Mallory both won, and in the singles play all six women won, with only Kikic – playing out of the number one position – going to a decisive third set.
In their second match against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, the team did one better and blanked their opponents 9-0. Bradley and Mallory pulled out a close 9-8 victory in doubles play in what proved to be the only close match of the day.
After racking up three wins out west, the team returned to Williams before making the long bus ride down to Washington and Lee in Lexington, Va. In their first match, the Ephs took on the hosting Generals, currently ranked fifth nationally. In an impressive display against a quality opponent, the Ephs crushed the Generals 7-2, winning all three doubles matches and with Kikic, Mallory, Hall and Bradley winning in singles competition.
The next day, the Ephs took on an undefeated sixth-ranked Pomona-Pitzer squad. Again, the Ephs dismantled a top opponent, winning 6-3. In the doubles matches, the Troy/Cheung and Bradley/Mallory teams won, while Mallory, Troy, Hall and Bradley won in singles play.
In the final match of the break, the Ephs took on seventh-ranked Gustavus Adolphus. Repeating the success found in their other matches, the Ephs came away with a 7-2 victory. Winning again in doubles action were the Kikic/Hall and Mallory/Bradley teams, while on the singles side Kikic, Mallory, Troy, Hall and Bradley triumphed. Overall the break treated the Ephs very well, as they firmly held on to the number one national ranking and beat some quality opponents.
“I was very impressed with the way we played,” said Julie Greenwood, head coach of women’s tennis. “These were the first weeks of competition since the fall for us and we had a long bus ride down to Virginia, and the southern teams have been playing all year, so I was pleased.
“We have a trio of sophomores who have really raised their play this year. Julie Mallory is undefeated in the third doubles group (with Jasmine Bradley) and at the number two singles, but I have been really impressed with the way our entire team is playing.” The Ephs have a busy weekend coming up, as they take on NESCAC rival Bowdoin on Saturday and then face second-ranked Emory on Sunday in what should prove one of the Ephs’ most challenging matches of the season.