Following an impressive performance two weeks ago in its season opener at the Lindsay Morehouse Invitational, women’s tennis was nothing short of spectacular last Sunday, as the team systematically dismantled Wellesley in a 9-0 victory. The Ephs took all 10 singles matches and four doubles matches from the Blue, including five exhibition match victories.
A week after winning all three of its matches against tough competition, the pairing of Kara Shoemaker ’14 and Rebecca Curran ’15 showed no signs of slowing down, defeating Sojung Lee and Diana Granger of Wellesley 8-4. Maria Pylypiv ’15 and Riqui McCoy ’16 dismantled their opponents 8-0, and co-captain Nancy Worley ’13 and Maya Hart ’16 dispatched their competition 8-1.
“We are working on some new tactics for all of our doubles teams,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “The players did a nice job of finding opportunities to use their net games more often, but this is an area we are going to be focusing on improving over the long term.”
Williams was just as unstoppable in singles play as it was in doubles. Shoemaker dispatched her opponent 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1, and Worley held down the No. 2 position with a 6-3, 6-1 victory. The Ephs swept the remaining singles matches as well: Curran won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3; Pylypiv topped her challenger 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4; McCoy dropped the competition 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5; and Kate Pollan ’16 secured a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 6.
Swain was pleased with the Ephs’ performance and was especially impressed that the women appeared to embrace a more aggressive sytle of play. “We really hit our stride in singles against Wellesley,” Swain said. “The entire team got off to a solid start and was able to play an increasingly aggressive game style as their matches went on.”
Swain is also pleased that the Ephs’ more specialized workouts are paying off. “Practices have been focused and productive the past couple of weeks,” Swain said. “So it’s encouraging to see everyone’s efforts producing strong performances in match play.”
The women are off to a promising start in their fall season and will seek to continue their NCAA-record streak of five Div. III championships in the spring. Swain has credited the work ethic of returning players as a key component to the team’s success thus far, but she also sees plenty of promise and room for improvement in a rookie class that has held its own thus far. “There is a lot of opportunity for the younger players on the team to get some good match experience this fall,” she said.
The women will seek to keep up the momentum from their torrid start to the season on Friday at MIT, where they will be compete in the ITA New England Regionals. Competition will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.