Beginning its competitive spring season with a win over Skidmore, women’s tennis (13-0, 3-0 in the NESCAC) has won each of its 10 matches since leaving campus for spring break and are now ranked No. 1 in the country.
Last Sunday, the women took on on Wesleyan and Conn. College. Williams played very well in both away matches, defeating Conn. College easily, 9-0, and Wesleyan 8-1. The Ephs saw success in both doubles and singles play.
The Ephs traveled to Middlebury, Vt. on Saturday to face their first conference match of the spring. Consistency has been the key for the Ephs this season, and Saturday proved no different as they defeated the Panthers 7-2.
Tri-captain Rebecca Curran ’15 earned her 100th doubles victory as she and Maya Hart ’16 overcame their opponents 8-3. Curran joins Nikki Reich ’11 as the only other woman to earn 100 doubles wins in her career. Tri-captain Maria Pylypiv ’15 and Julia Cancio ’18 followed with a 8-2 victory. The pairing of Linda Shin ’17 and Juli Raventos ’18 continued with doubles perfection, winning 8-4 and giving the Ephs a 3-0 lead going into singles.
Williams continued to prove too strong for their NESCAC opponents, taking four of the singles matches thanks to strong play by Cancio, Shin and Raventos.
Before facing Middlebury, the women travelled to Cambridge, Mass to take on MIT. On an overcast afternoon with light rain in the forecast, Williams appeared unfazed, playing consistent through the day and ultimately coming out victorious at 8-1.
The Ephs’ pairing of Shin and Raventos finished first in doubles on Friday, earning a decisive 8-2 victory. Curran and Hart followed, winning 8-6. Pylypiv and Cancio rounded out doubles for the Ephs, in which the pair looked strong and lifted Williams to 3-0 lead, coming out on top 8-4.
In singles, Raventos, Shin and Curran all moved past their opponent in two sets. Mia Gancayco ’18 defeated her opponent 6-2, 6-2, putting the Ephs ahead 7-0. Hannah Atkinson ’17 followed suit with a 6-2, 6-2 victory that helped her team’s overall 8-1 win.
“Going into spring break after a win against Skidmore as our first spring season match, we came out strong and went undefeated over the two week break,” said Curran. “More so than in past years, we felt extremely prepared for match play, both physically and mentally, and I think this really came out on court as we defeated some of the highest-ranked teams in the country.”
Over the first week of spring break, the women tackled six teams in Virginia, including Johns Hopkins on April 3. Johns Hopkins struck first as Pylypiv and Cancio were overcome at No. 1 doubles. Williams battled back at No. 2, however, lifted by an 8-6 win from Raventos and Shin. Curran and Hart showed some aggressive net play to defeat their opponents 8-3 and put Williams up 2-1.
In singles, Pylypiv and Gancayco jumped out to early leads, defeating their opponents 6-0, 7-6 (3) and 6-1, 6-4, respectively. Raventos fell 6-4, 6-2 to make the match score 4-2. Cancio and Curran each won in two sets, and Shin proved resilient against her opponent, taking the match to three sets before ultimately winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, sealing a Williams victory at 7-2.
The team similarly emerged victorious in matches against Carnegie Mellon, Emory, DePauw, James Madison and Washington and Lee. The team eagerly anticipates the remainder of the season. “We’re excited for our next two weekends, both of which will be home, and to be underway with our conference season,” Curran said.
The women will take on Amherst this Saturday at 1 p.m. at home.