On April 1, women’s tennis, currently ranked No. 1 in Div. III, won its first home match of the spring season. In a highly-contested match lasting more than seven hours, the Ephs were able to take down the rival Jeffs. The win comes on the heels of the team’s 6-1 record over break.
The match on April 1 began outdoors, where Amherst got off to an early lead in doubles play. The No. 1 doubles team of Taylor French ’12 and Kara Shoemaker ’14 fell 8-1. The Ephs’ number two doubles team of tri-captain Kristin Alotta ’12 and Kathleen Elkins ’14 evened the score, however, winning the match 8-5.
Due to rain, the match was forced to the indoor courts after the first two matches. When play resumed, Caroline Capute ’12 and Rebecca Curran ’15 were narrowly edged out by Amherst’s third doubles team, leaving the women down 2-1 heading into the singles matches.
In characteristic fashion, the Ephs responded with strong singles play to take four of the six singles matches en route to the 5-4 win. Most notably, No. 1 singles player Alotta overcame her opponent to become only the second player in the history of women’s tennis at Williams to meet the 100 singles victories mark. Only Alotta and Kate Troy ’04 have earned this honor.
“I’m really proud of our seniors and think they deserve particular recognition for our team taking the Little Three title this year with our win over Amherst,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “Kristin Alotta came away with her 100th singles win, and Caroline Capute earned the fifth and deciding point in that match. Caroline hadn’t been in that position as the only match left on court in a 4-4 tie before, and she handled the pressure with poise and determination.”
The win against Amherst followed a successful spring break trip for the team.
The women ended their spring break trip with a victory over Nova Southeastern, ranked 18th in Div. III, on March 29. The Ephs were able to take two of the three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches for a resounding 7-2 victory.
Williams’ only loss over spring break came on March 27 against Div. III No. 3 Lynn. On the doubles side, only Alotta and Elkins pulled ahead of their opponents, posting an 8-5 win. Elkins and Capute overcame their singles opponents, and the Ephs fell 6-3.
Swain was impressed with the team’s play over the break. “We definitely played our toughest spring break schedule to date, competed in some of our longest matches ever that early in the season and with new doubles teams from the fall,” she said. “To come out of spring break undefeated in Div. III and with wins over some nationally-ranked Div. II programs is really a testament to our mental toughness, fitness and training over the course of this year.”
The team is currently preparing to host a double-header against Skidmore and Conn. College this Sunday. The first match begins at 11 a.m., followed by the second match at 4 p.m.