Ephs dominate regional competition in USTA/ITA

Women’s tennis traveled to Bates this past weekend to compete in the USTA/ITA Regional Tournament. The tournament was three days long and featured the best talent from across New England. The Ephs had a strong showing, with five players in the quarterfinals of the singles tournament, highlighted by a second-place finish from Nancy Worley ’13. In the doubles portion of the tournament, Worley and Kara Shoemaker ’14 finished in second place.

“I’m really impressed with our team’s performance at the ITA tournament,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “It was a privilege and a first for our program to have four doubles teams and seven singles selected into the tournament … We also had some really spectacular individual performances along the way.”

The Ephs did exceptionally well in the singles tournament. Shoemaker, who had won her previous matches 6-0, 6-0 and 6-4, 7-6 (4), fell to Leah Kepping of Middlebury 6-2, 6-0 in the quarterfinals. In the second quarterfinal match, Kristin Alotta ’12, who had previously cruised by her opponents 6-3, 6-4; 6-0, 6-4; and 6-2, 6-0, fell to fourth seed and eventual champion Lok-Sze Leung from Middlebury 6-1, 6-0. Third seeded Worley prevailed in her quarterfinal match against her opponent from Middlebury in a hard-fought three sets 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-1. In the last quarterfinal match, unseeded Maria Pylypiv ’15 faced teammate Kathleen Elkins ’14. Pylypiv had beaten the second seeded player from Bowdoin to enter the quarterfinal match, and was able to overcome Elkins 6-3, 7-6 (4).

“Maria loves to compete. She shines in high pressure situations and was incredibly motivated to perform in this tournament,” Swain said. “I like that Maria’s competitive attitude is relentless. She truly fights for every point and understands the importance of momentum. This was shown best in her 6-1, 6-1 win over the No. 2 seed in the tournament.”

The two Ephs that remained faced each other in the semifinal match, with Worley beating Pylypiv 6-2, 6-1.

Although Worley had a quite impressive showing in the final, she could not overcome Leung from Middlebury, and Leung won 6-0, 6-1 in the final.

Worley and Shoemaker had a dominant run in the doubles before falling in the final to the second seeded team from Amherst. In their second match of the tournament, Worley and Shoemaker took on a seeded team from MIT, and were able to win 8-3. Next, the pair faced Kellen Alberstone and Kate Winingham, the number one seed from Bowdoin, and again dominated to win 8-5. Unfortunately, the No. 2 seed from Amherst, Jordan Brewer and Laura Danzig proved to be too much for the pair, as Amherst won in the final 8-5.

The women will look to build on this success over the next two weeks before they play at the New England Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament in Amherst, Mass., on Oct. 14.