Amherst stymies women’s tennis 5-4

Women’s tennis (1-1) fell 5-4 in a tense match against archrival Amherst on Saturday, marking the team’s first loss of the regular season. The Jeffs remain undefeated. The match will not count for the Ephs’ conference record, however, as the teams do not play their conference match until the spring.

Kristin Alotta ’12 and teammate Nikki Reich ’11, playing No. 1 doubles for the Ephs, lost their match to Jeffs Jordan Brewer and Gabby Devlin 8-1 early in the competition. No. 2 doubles team Nancy Worley ’13 and Taylor French ’12 evened the score for the women by taking their match 8-6, but Caroline Capute ’12 and Lindsay Thygesen ’14 fell just short of clinching their match at court three, leaving the Ephs down 2-1 heading into singles play.

“[French] and [Worley] played the best doubles they have all fall against Amherst,” Head Coach Alison Swain said. “It was exciting to see them be able to close out their doubles match after we had lost the other two and their match had been so close all along.”

Alotta, kicking off the team’s singles play in the No. 1 slot, once again fell to Brewer in 6-3, 6-3 sets. The tide seemed to turn for Williams when Worley and Reich each took their matches 7-6(1), 6-2 and 6-0, 6-1, respectively. With the score tied at 3-3, Capute took the court at position No. 4 but was defeated by Carlissa King 6-4, 6-3. Kathleen Elkins ’14 responded with a win at court five, but Amherst’s Devlin continued her winning streak at No. 6, where she dismissed Kara Shoemaker ’14 6-3, 6-4 to seal Amherst’s 5-4 win.

“I thought our team controlled points well when we got on offense early in singles,” Swain said. “We will continue to work on our ability to control points and finish points using our strengths. I was also extremely impressed by our positive energy on the court,” Swain continued. “No matter what the score, our team continued to exude a lot of positive energy through focus and cheering for each other. I think this helped us close out some great singles matches and stay in some of the tougher ones longer.”

This Saturday, Williams travels to Wesleyan to play the first of its Little Three matches and the second-to-last match of the fall season. Play will begin at 11 a.m.