Women’s tennis 3-peat at NESCACs

Women’s tennis came out on top in the NESCAC Women’s Tennis Championship for the third consecutive year, edging out second-place finishers Amherst College and Tufts University by a score of 31-25.

Steph Hall ’04 led the way for the Ephs, winning the A Flight singles draw and earning NESCAC co-Player of the Year honors. Sara Hughes of Colby, who fell in the semifinals of the A Flight singles draw, shared the honor with Hall.

“I’m just really excited winning NESCACs and shocked about winning co-Player of the Year honors,” Hall said. “Team-wise going into Sunday it was really close and we knew we had to win all our matches to secure first. My victory helped notch the title for our team so it was all the more meaningful.”

Williams had a two-point advantage over Amherst and four points over Tufts heading into the final day of the tournament. All three teams scored two points in the morning, with Hall winning the A Flight, 6-3, 6-1, Tristan Hedrick winning the B Flight for Amherst, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 6-3 and Iffy Saeed winning the C Flight for Tufts, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. One point is awarded for each winning singles and doubles match, and finals wins will count double.

In the afternoon’s action, Jennifer Lejb and Katie Nordstrom won the number one doubles draw for Tufts, 8-4. Williams took both the number two doubles and number three doubles, however, to clinch the NESCAC crown. Tracy Cheung ’03 and Julie Mallory ’04 won at number two, 9-8 (7-3), Brittany Binet ’05 and Alex Maclennan ’06 took the number three match 8-5.

After Friday and Saturday’s competition, the dominant trio of Williams, Amherst and Tufts emerged to assume their familiar roles at the top. Williams led all schools with a combined score of 25. Close behind the Ephs were Amherst (23) and Tufts (21). As for the rest of the NESCAC, Tufts was followed by Bowdoin (11), Colby (10), Middlebury (9), Wesleyan (9), Bates (4), Connecticut College (3), Trinity (2) and Hamilton (0).

After receiving a bye in the first round, Hall/Kate Troy ’04 defeated Liz Gallagher/Emily Sedlis of Connecticut College by a score of 8-0 in the quarterfinals of number one doubles. In the semifinals, however, the fatigued pair, who had played multiple singles and doubles matches already in the warm weather, fell to Jennifer Lejb/Katie Nordstrom of Tufts, 8-0.

In number two doubles, Cheung/Mallory defeated the first pair they faced in the tourney, Tiffany Lo/ Sarah Seidman of Wesleyan, by a score of 8-5. Next, the two Ephs disposed of Bates’ Liz Currie/Tara DeVito, 8-4 in the semifinals.

Following their first round bye, Binet/Maclennan knocked off Connecticut College’s Amy Loveless/Sara Muehlbauer, 8-2 in number three doubles. Later that afternoon, they went on to defeat the Jumbo team of Saeed/Ashley Weisman, 8-3. Williams entered no teams into number four doubles.

Mallory received a bye in round one of A Flight singles. In round two, Mallory was defeated by Sara Hughes (Colby) 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-5 in a hard-fought contest.

Hall was granted a bye in round one of A Flight singles. In round two, Hall defeated Panther Lauren Ready 6-3, 6-1. Next, Hall knocked off Britt Palmedo of Colby, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4. In the semifinal round, she defeated Lady Jeff Rachel Holt 6-2, 6-4.

Troy began her play in round two, and defeated Cardinal Ashley Brick 6-0, 6-1. In the quarterfinals, she was victorious against Jumbo Katie Nordstrom by a score of 6-1, 6-2. Her sweep was stopped abruptly in the semifinals by Tristan Hedrick (Amherst), losing 6-4, 6-2.

Frosh sensation Maclennan defeated Caren Harris of Colby 6-2, 6-1, in B Flight singles. Next, Maclennan took care of Hadley Miller (Amherst) in a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 quarterfinal contest. In the semis, Maclennan defeated Barclay Gang (Tufts) 6-1, 6-2.

Cheung recieved a bye in round one of the C Flight singles. In round two, Cheung defeated Kristin Baker (Middlebury) 6-0, 6-2. Next, Cheung knocked off Susannah Ragab (Wesleyan) in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. Julia Shaver (Bowdoin) was Cheung’s next challenger, and she fell as well to the red-hot Eph, 6-3, 6-2 of C Flight singles.

Binet recieved a bye in round one. In round two, she defeated Tory Miller (Trinity) 6-0, 6-0. Binet was stopped short in the quarterfinals by Iffy Saeed (Tufts) 6-2, 6-3.

Finally, in round one of D Flight singles, Tina Howe ’03 defeated Erin Bednarek of Bates 6-0, 6-1. Howe proceeded to sweep past Bowdoin’s Lauren Gray 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 and Jumbo Trina Spear 6-2, 6-3.

Next Saturday, Amherst will return to the Purple Valley for an 11 a.m. match. In the fall, the Lord Jeffs defeated the Ephs 6-3.