Women’s tennis (1-0) cruised at the USTA/ITA Regional Championship Tournament last weekend, taking home the championship title in both singles and doubles. Competing against players from 15 other schools, the women pulled off some outstanding upsets to finish on top at the end of the weekend.
After play on Friday, three Ephs doubles teams and six singles players had advanced to the quarterfinals. In doubles, the pair of Julia Cancio ’18 and Juli Raventos ’18 crushed their first opponents 8-1 and won their second round match 8-4. Alex Stone ’17 and Maria Gancayco ’18 won their first match against a team from Middlebury 8-6 and secured a spot in the quarterfinals by winning their second match 8-2. The third team to advance, tri-captain Rebecca Curran ’15 and tri-captain Maria Pylypiv ’15, defeated two NESCAC teams with an 8-3 win over a team from Tufts and an 8-4 win over a Middlebury pair.
In singles, Linda Shin ’17, seeded third in the tournament, dominated both of her opponents, winning her first match 6-0, 6-0 and her second one 6-1, 6-1. Pylypiv, seeded ninth, won her first match 6-3, 6-1 and was winning the first set of her second match 5-2 when her opponent had to retire. The first-year class had a strong showing in singles, starting with Raventos, ranked seventh, who defeated her first opponent 6-0, 6-2 and won her second match 6-1, 6-2. Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio ’18 had a stellar performance, crushing her first opponent 6-0, 6-1 and her second one 6-0, 6-0. Gancayco won her first match 6-3, 6-2 and was winning her second match 6-4, 2-1 when her opponent was forced to retire. The upset of the tournament came on the first day when Cancio defeated the top-ranked player in the second round of the tournament: after winning her first match 6-1, 6-0, Cancio beat Alexandra Fields of Middlebury 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
The second day of play on Saturday proved similarly fruitful and saw several matches between Ephs. McDonnell Nieto del Rio fought hard to win her quarterfinal match 6-2, 1-6, 6-1, while Shin defeated her opponent 6-2, 6-0 to set up a showdown with McDonnell Nieto del Rio, which she won 6-0, 6-2. Pylypiv continued to show dominance on the court, winning her first match 6-2, 6-1 and her second match 6-1, 6-1. Raventos defeated her first opponent 6-2, 6-2 then fought hard in her second match to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. In doubles, Stone and Gancayco won their first match against the first-seeded pair from MIT 8-3. Curran and Pylypiv defeated the fourth seed from Babson 8-3. This meant the two Williams teams faced each other in the second round of the day, with Curran and Pylypiv winning the match 8-2.
The final day of play was an exciting one for the Ephs, as several more inter-squad matches ere played before the end of the tournament. In singles, Shin played Pylypiv in the semifinals and won the match 6-2, 6-2. Raventos won her semifinal match 6-4, 6-2 to set up a matchup against Shin in the finals. Shin and Raventos had a tough match for the championship, but Shin eventually won 6-1, 7-6 (5). In doubles, Curran and Pylypiv defeated a pair from Bowdoin to claim the championship title.
“In my eight years, this was a first for our program,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “Not only was it exceptional for Linda [Shin], Maria [Pylypiv] and Rebecca [Curran] to take home the singles and doubles title, but as a team, we had more players deeper into the tournament than ever before. I am incredibly proud of our team’s competitive effort this past weekend.”
The Ephs’ next contest will be the Middlebury Tournament this Saturday at 9 a.m.
“This weekend went really well for the whole team, and it was very exciting to see us rise to the occasion and show how much we are capable of,” Pylypiv said. “It was a very successful tournament for us and hopefully only the first of many successes to come this year.”