Women’s tennis shuts downs Tufts 9-0 on home courts

Playing with great focus and determination, women’s tennis crushed NESCAC rival Tufts 9-0 at Williams on Sunday afternoon. The match was originally scheduled to be played at Amherst, but because of adverse weather conditions, the match was moved to the indoor courts in the Purple Valley.

As the flawless victory suggests, the Ephs seized their unexpected home-court advantage.

In doubles play, the Ephs gained momentum immediately. The number one team of co-captain Selma Kikic ’02 and Steph Hall ’04 quickly went to work. Playing against Kate Nordstrom and Iffy Saeed, a team the pair had beaten 8-0 in last week’s NESCAC tournament, Kikic and Hall came out poised and handled the Tufts duo with ease, beating them 8-4.

In a rematch of the NESCAC Flight “B” doubles final, Tracy Cheung ’03 and Kate Troy ’04 faced off against Neda Pisheva and Barclay Gang. Repeating the success they enjoyed last week, Cheung and Troy also secured an 8-4 victory of their own.

In the third doubles play of the day, Julie Mallory ’04 and co-captain Jasmine Bradley ’02 equaled the success of their teammates, coasting to an easy 8-2 victory over a Tufts duo.

For the clincher in doubles play, Williams took the exhibition fourth match, with Amy Shapiro ’05 and Rebecca Marques ’02 winning 8-3.

In singles play, the domination only continued unabated. Kikic, playing again out of the top position, smoked her opponent, Kate Nordstrom, in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.Â

The rest of her teammates followed in line. Number two seed Mallory did not even have to finish a second set, as her opponent Barclay Gang, retired in the second game after Mallory had won the first set 6-2.

Number three Troy had an even easier time in her victory than Kikic, as she only surrendered one game to Saeed and came away with the 6-1, 6-0 win. Hall did Troy one better, as she shut out Trina Spear, 6-0, 6-0 in the fourth singles match.

Cheung, playing fifth singles, did her part as she defeated Neda Pisheva 6-2, 6-1. And in what was only an appropriate final match, co-captain Bradley, playing out of the final singles spot, shut her opponent out as well, posting a dominating 6-0, 6-0 win.

The theme of Williams domination continued down into the exhibition matches. Brittany Binet ’05 and co-captain Steele Thomas ’02 each dropped one game, as Binet won 6-1, 6-0 fashion while Thomas won 6-0, 6-1.

Overall, in eight singles matches, Williams players won 90 games while Tufts only captured 12.

As if the Tufts win did not highlight the ability of the squad, the team was honored with several awards in recognition of their domination at last week’s NESCAC tournament.  Kikic, through her stellar performance in both the Flight “A” singles and “A” doubles draw, was named Player of the Year.

Bradley split the NESCAC Sportsmen of the Year Award with Shauna Ginsberg of Connecticut and Julie Greenwood, head coach of women’s tennis, was named Coach of the Year.

Every member of the Eph top six garnered first team NESCAC honors based upon their performances last week. Kikic, Troy, Hall, Cheung and Bradley all were named to the first team All-NESCAC in both singles and doubles, as each won their respective doubles titles and made it to the finals of their singles flights. Mallory captured first team doubles honors as well following her win with Bradley in the Flight “C” doubles.

The team now only has one more match, against archrival Amherst next weekend.

A win next Saturday against the Jeffs would close out another undefeated season for the Ephs before they head into the NCAA tournament, where the squad hopes to repeat as national champions.