Ephs dispatch pair of NESCAC foes

The women’s tennis team (16-0, 5-0 in the NESCAC) took on Tufts (8-7), Babson (15-7) and Amherst (10-2) last weekend. The women emerged victorious from all three matches, continuing their undefeated streak. Williams is currently ranked as the nation’s top Div. III team.wten1

“Being undefeated at this point in our season was never a written goal of our team’s,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 commented. “Rather, it’s the outcome of a lot of hard work, improvement, determination and competitive excellence by all the women on the team. I’m really proud of what we have accomplished together thus far, but I think we all still feel as though we have a lot of our season and our goals still ahead of us in the next month.”

The Ephs opened with the Jumbos at 11 a.m. on Sunday. It was a strong day for Williams in doubles play, as Maria Pylypiv ’15 and Julia Cancio ’18 led off with a decisive 8-1 victory over the sophomore pairing of Conner Colabro and Alexa Meltzer from Tufts.

The Ephs’ tandem of Linda Shin ’17 and Juli Raventos ’18 followed with another win at 8-1, lifting the score to 2-0. Maya Hart ’16 and Rebecca Curran ’15 were effective in the final doubles match, sweeping their Tufts opponents 8-0 and giving the women momentum heading into singles.

Success followed for Williams in singles play. Hannah Atkinson ’17, Monica Pastor ’15 and Cancio each defeated their opponent in two sets, giving the their team a 6-0 lead. Shin was focused as she faced Tufts’ Colabro, coming out on top 6-0, 6-1. Mia Gancayco ’18 and Curran both finished with strong matches, topping their opponents in two sets and solidifying a 9-0 victory for the Ephs.

In the second match of the day, Williams was effective yet again. Shin and Raventos executed well in doubles, topping Babson’s Alex Freeman ’15 and Alexis Ferraro ’15, 8-2. Hart and Curran followed suit with an 8-1 victory, while the Ephs’ pairing of Gancayco and Atkinson remained successful at an 8-1 margin. With the productive play in doubles, Williams headed into singles play up 3-0.

In singles, the Ephs were equally efficient. Atkinson, Pylypiv and Raventos each swept their opponents, while Pastor was able to battle Babson’s Claire Foster for a 6-1, 6-0 victory. Gancayco and Alex Stone ’16 finished for the Ephs, maintaining the success of the day with 6-2, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-2 victories, sealing a 9-0 win over Babson.

On Saturday, the No. 1 Williams took on No. 3 archrival Amherst. Williams prevailed 8-1 with Amherst’s lone win coming at number one doubles when the Jeffs tandem of junior Sue Gosh and freshman Vickie Ip topped the Eph pairing of Pylypiv and Cancio 8-3.

Both teams entered having last lost to each other. A year ago, the Ephs were defeated in the NCAA Semifinals on May 20 by Amherst 5-4. Amherst’s last loss came in Amherst when they fell to Williams 5-4 back on Oct. 11.

The Ephs bounced back impressively from the loss at one doubles, taking the rest of the doubles matches despite trailing in both matches early.

Shin and Raventos evened the match at one all when they won over Amherst’s Jacqueline Calia and Maddy Sung 8-4 at two doubles.

Three doubles went to a tie-breaker before the Eph duo of Curran and Hart was able to defeat the Amherst pairing of Sarah Monteagudo and Safi Aly 9-8 (4).

Owning a 2-1 lead heading into singles, the Ephs then proceeded to win all six matches in straight sets. This spring lineup was impressive in singles on Saturday as Gancayco, Curran and Pylypiv led off for the Ephs, all coming out on top. Cancio defeated her opponent Megan Adamo, 6-4, 6-3, lifting the home team to a 6-1 lead. Shin moved past sophomore Jacqueline Calia in two sets: 6-4, 6-2. Raventos finished for Williams, continuing the Ephs momentum with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. “This coming weekend are our last two regular season matches,” Swain said. “I know we want to finish the regular season as strong as possible. I also know that the team is very excited that we will be home for both matches, and we hope we have a lot of students and members of the Williams community out to support us.”

“Coming off of this weekend we all feel we have a lot to celebrate,” Curran said. “Beating Amherst as handedly as we did proves how significantly we have improved since the fall and even since spring break, and we hope to keep our intensity and focus up in the upcoming weeks so we continue to improve. We feel this continual drive to improve is the most integral piece to our success thus far.”

With the pair of wins, the Ephs move to 16-0 record this year and look to maintain their success as they head into the final weekend of conference play. Williams will face Bowdoin College next Saturday at home. The match is set for 10 a.m..