Women’s tennis gears up for strong spring season

Co-captain Rebecca Curran ’15 will anchor the doubles lineup with Maria Pylypiv ’15 this spring.
Co-captain Rebecca Curran ’15 will anchor the doubles lineup with Maria Pylypiv ’15 this spring.

Women’s tennis, coming off a third-place NCAA Div. III title last spring and a 2-0 winning season this fall, is ready for the spring season, dominating Wellesley 9-0 this fall and pulling out a very close 5-4 victory against Amherst. These two victories have given the Ephs the No. 1 ranking in the Northeast region as they begin their spring campaign, boasting a very young team.

With the graduation of standouts Kara Shoemaker ’14 and Kathleen Elkins ’14, Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 has redone both her singles and her doubles lineups. Co-captain Rebecca Curran ’15 and Maria Pylypiv ’15 will anchor the doubles lineup. Alex Stone ’16, Hannah Atkinson ’17 and Linda Shin ’17 will all play powerful roles on the doubles courts as well, supported by freshmen Julia Cancio ’18, Mia Gancayco ’18, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio ’18 and Juli Raventos ’18.

The Ephs gain some very appropriate confidence from an impressive team performance at the ITA New England Regional Tournament this fall. Three Ephs reached the semifinal round in singles play and Shin won the entire tournament outright, defeating teammate Raventos in the championship match.

In doubles at the ITA Tournament, partners Curran and Pylypiv beat Bowdoin’s No. 1 pair to become doubles champions. These titles give Shin, Curran and Pylypiv All-American honors.

During the fall season, the Ephs fought to 98 singles and doubles wins combined and only 24 losses, putting their winning percentage at a hearty .803.

The Ephs are excited to welcome back Maya Hart ’16, who spent the fall semester studying abroad in Spain, and co-captain Monica Pastor ’15, who returns from injury.

Looking ahead, the women will travel to Virginia for spring break to take on James Madison, DePauw, Emory, Washington & Lee, Carnegie Mellon and Johns Hopkins. When the team returns, they will play away at MIT, Middlebury, Wesleyan and Conn. College, before taking on Amherst, Tufts, Babson, Bowdoin and Bates at home for the next five consecutive weekends.

“I’d say we’re really looking forward to competing and putting all of our pre-season hard work to good use,” said Pastor. “The pre-season can tend to be a tiresome frustrating experience. It’s long. It’s cold. But we’ve been really good about focusing on ourselves and being excuse free. We’ve been working really hard these past couple of weeks, from intense field house practices to fully taking advantage of our time at the hard courts in Bennington, Vermont. We have our first match against skidmore this Sunday which were really hungry for. It will be a great test to see how well our doubles has developed during the pre-season and I think we’ll do really well. We’re ready.”

The women begin their season this weekend in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The women will take on Skidmore at 1 p.m. The following weekend they travel to Virginia for spring break before coming back to resume NESCAC play.