Women’s tennis closes season

Women’s tennis concluded its fall season last weekend, participating in the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament (NEWITT) and emerging with a championship title from its B-draw team of Veranika Li ’13 and Caroline Capute ’12. Overall, the women posted a 2-1 record for the fall season and are looking forward to a spring that promises tough competition and the hopes of another NCAA title.

NEWITT’s format includes an A and B-draw, entered in teams of two. Those teams play a double pro set against the opposing team and then split and play singles against those same players. If a team takes two of the three matches, it advances. Two Williams teams from the A draw advanced in the quarters but lost tiebreakers in the singles sets.

Head Coach Alison Swain used specific strategy in choosing the teams. “[The teams] were designed not necessarily on making one strongest team possible and four other teams that weren’t as strong,” Swain explained. “We didn’t have our No. 1 and No. 2 singles playing as a team, for example; we had our No. 1 and No. 4 together, No. 3 and No. 9 together, No. 2 and No. 6, and No. 5 and No. 8.”

“The competitive experience [the women] got at the tournament will certainly make them more prepared for our challenging spring schedule,” Swain said.
In the B draw, Li and Capute received a bye in the first round. They won the tournament in five matches – breezing past NESCAC opponents Middlebury in the semifinals and Amherst in the finals without dropping a match. They advanced each round with a 3-0 score and won their singles matches in straight sets. “The pair played very focused, confident tennis, and it showed in their sets,” Swain said.

Additionally, captain Grace Baljon ’10 was the recipient of the Lindsay Morehouse Award, an honor bestowed each year upon one senior from the teams participating in NEWITTs. Morehouse, a 2000 graduate of Williams, played tennis for the Ephs for three years. Tragically, she died on Sept. 11 in the attacks on the World Trade Center. The award is voted on by the coaches and is given to the player that demonstrates character, fair play, hard work and friendship – all qualities Morehouse brought to the court during her three years in collegiate tennis.

“It is quite an honor for Grace to win the award, and I have received several notes from coaches congratulating her and commenting on how deserving she is,” said Swain.

The award holds additional significance for Swain, a 2001 graduate. “[It] is certainly close to my heart as I played with Lindsay for three years here at Williams.”

The Ephs now have some time to appreciate the awards, titles and distinctions they have earned this fall as they await the spring season.

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