Women’s tennis slams NESCAC foes

Women’s tennis had a strong start to its competitive fall season on Saturday, beating both Tufts and Wesleyan 8-1.

Kathleen Elkins ’14
Kathleen Elkins ’14 won a singles match and both of her doubles matches last weekend. Photo by Todd Brenner.

The women opened play on Saturday against Little Three rival Wesleyan. “They’re not nationally ranked, but they’re still one of the Little Three, so it’s a big match for us,” Head Coach Allison Swain ’01 said. “Everybody got to play, which is good.”

In doubles play, tri-captain Kristin Alotta ’12 and Kathleen Elkins ’14 won their match 8-1 in the No. 1 spot, while No. 2 pair Lindsay Thygesen ’14 and Kara Shoemaker ’14 lost 8-6. In the third spot, rookies Maria Pylypiv ’15 and Monica Pastor ’15 won 8-1.

Williams swept the singles matches with two-set victories by Nancy Worley ’13, Alotta, tri-captain Caroline Capute ’12, Pylypiv, Pastor and Thygesen, in the No. 1- 6 spots, respectively.

Later that day, the women walked away with a resounding victory over Tufts.

The one loss of the matchup came from No. 1 doubles pair Worley and Shoemaker, who were defeated after a very long, even set which ended after a tiebreaker with the score 9-8. Elkins and Capute won their No. 2 doubles match 8-4, and Rebecca Curran ’15 and Alotta quickly won their No. 3 doubles match 8-1. “Our team’s depth is definitely our strength, as you can see from our No. 3 doubles,” Swain said. “We’re working on playing aggressive doubles. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re at a good place for the very start of the season.”

As for the singles matches, Williams had even more decisive victories, with two-set wins by Worley, Shoemaker, Alotta, Elkins, Curan and Capute. Pylypiv also won her exhibition match with an impressive 6-0, 6-1 result.

The women will next play NESCAC rival and top-ranked Amherst on the road on Saturday at 1 p.m. before taking on Wellesley at home on Sunday at 2 p.m.

“Amherst is definitely the most exciting match of the fall,” tri-captain Taylor French ’12 said. “Tufts is a good team, so it’s good to be going into the Amherst match with Tufts under our belt.” French, who was out last weekend with a knee injury, hopes to be back in time to play against Amherst.

Both Swain and French are happy with the way the fall is going and are looking forward to another great season. “Everybody has a little bit of nerves,” Swain said. “Right now we’re just trying to play through the nerves and get on track.”

“Fall is the time to figure out how everybody is playing and to get experience,” Swain said.

“I think the team is coming together well,” French added. “The freshmen are working really well, and it’s going to be a good season.”