Women’s tennis sends trio of teams to semis at NEWITTs

Women’s tennis finished its fall season with a strong showing in the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament (NEWITT) last Friday through Sunday. Prior to NEWITTs, Rebecca Curran ’15 and co-captain Kara Shoemaker ’14 took full advantage of a last-minute opportunity to compete in the USTA/ITA Small College Championship and won the Div. III tournament.

At NEWITTs, all five Williams teams advanced to the Round of 16 after impressive play on the first day. The tournament is structured so that each team of two plays one doubles match and then splits and each player plays a singles match against one of their doubles opponents.

The Williams No. 1 team of co-captain Kara Shoemaker ’14 and Rebecca Curran ’15, Williams No. 3 team of Linda Shin ’17 and Alex Stone ’16 and Williams No. 4 team of Riqui McCoy ’16 and Maya Hart ’16 all won their matches 3-0. Stone had a hard-fought singles match that she eventually won 7-6 (4), 7-5, 10-4, and Annika Trapness ’17, playing on a combined team with a player from Tufts, won her singles match 6-0, 6-2. The Williams No. 2 team, consisting of co-captain Kathleen Elkins ’14 and Maria Pylypiv ’15, lost its doubles match, but prevailed in both of the singles matches to win the overall match 2-1.

On Saturday, Shoemaker and Curran continued their run, defeating their opponents 3-0. Elkins and Pylypiv also won 3-0. McCoy and Hart had a tough match, losing to the Amherst No. 1 team 3-0. Shin and Stone played an exciting match in which both singles matches went into tiebreakers, as they eventually won 2-1 over Amherst’s No. 2 team.

In the semifinals on Sunday, Shoemaker and Curan defeated Shin and Stone 3-0 to advance to the finals. In the other semifinal, Elkins and Pylypiv lost to Amherst’s No. 1 duo by a 3-0 margin. In the finals, Shoemaker and Curran also fell short, losing, 3-0.

“It was an unbelievable way to close the fall season,” said Elkins. “Having three teams reach the semifinals was incredible, and I think it really shows the depth of our lineup and the work we’ve been putting in these past couple of weeks, both physically and mentally.”

On Oct. 11, the Williams No. 1 doubles team of Shoemaker and Curran made the best of an unexpected situation, allowing them to win the USTA/ITA Small College Championships in Fort Myers, Fla. The pair was not scheduled to play in this tournament, but a last minute dropout gave them the opportunity they needed. They defeated Pomona-Pitzer 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals despite having just flown down to the Sunshine state that morning. The pair fought hard in the final match and came out victorious, beating Washington and Lee 7-5, 6-4. Shoemaker and Curran both received All-American honors for their performance.

“Our team has been incredibly committed to developing a positive team chemistry this fall that includes, hard work, a love of the game, a great team camaraderie and mental toughness during competition,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “I’m proud of how much these women have improved in the first seven weeks of our 2013-14 tennis campaign and the results that we have produced. Beating Amherst 6-3 at home was certainly a highlight. But in all the individual tournaments we played, we demonstrated how deep our team is this year and how strong. We also had a Williams tennis first – with Kara [Shoemaker] and Rebecca [Curran] winning the ITA National Small College Div. III Doubles tournament.”

NEWITTs concluded the women’s fall season. They will look to continue their training throughout the winter and come out strong when the season resumes in the spring.

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