Women’s tennis beats archrival Amherst 9-0

Women’s tennis (2-0) hosted rival Amherst on Saturday, blanking its archrival in both singles and doubles to secure a 9-0 victory.
All six singles won their matches, with Korina Neveaux ’19, Julia Cancio ’18 and Juli Raventos ’18 all battling through extra sets to earn their wins for the day. Linda Shin ’18, competing in the No. 2 singles position, handily defeated her opponent 6-1, 6-0. Mia Gancayo ’18 blew out her opponent at No. 3 singles 6-2, 6-2 and Alex Stone ’16 similarly crushed her rival at No. 6 singles 6-4, 6-3. No Eph appeared in danger of falling to her Jeff opponent, competing with the same confidence that has guided them to continous success through the season.
Doubles also managed to shut out Amherst with three victories. Leah Bush ’19 and Cancio got off to an early lead, eventually winning 8-2. The teams of captain Maya Hart ’16 and Gancayco as well as Raventos and Shin secured victories at 8-3 and 8-4, respectively.
After Saturday, Amherst holds a 39-35 lead in the all-time series against the Ephs that began in 1977. Saturday’s victory was the first 9-0 victory for the women over Amherst. The Ephs have now won the last five matches in the series since their 5-4 loss in the 2014 NCAA Div. III semifinals. Since that loss, the Ephs have secured 28 straight dual match victories, the longest streak in program history.
“Everything came together for us this weekend,” Hart said. “We have been focusing on our execution at practice recently and that really showed on Saturday. No match was easy, and everyone fought even after the match had already been decided. It’s always exciting and intense when we play Amherst, and this time it was no different. It was so much fun to see everyone out there competing at such a high level all around.”
The team is highly satisfied with its playing. “The match this weekend demonstrated the result of our best week of practice this season to date,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “We talked at the beginning of the week about increasing our focus and intensity at practice. We also talked about challenging ourselves to try skills outside our comfort zone in practice. I think the week of practice prepared us well for a big match against Amherst, and we were ready to compete our best.”
“The results were a direct product of our preparation,” Swain continued. “I’m really proud of our team and how well we competed on each individual court and how we supported one another throughout a challenging match. This is a motivated, focused and driven group of player who truly compete as a team. We are looking forward to making the most of our last few weeks of the fall season. I know everyone feels like they still have aspects of their game they can improve, so we will be taking full advantage of the time we have left to train together before our spring season.”
The women now turn to the Middlebury Invitational, which will take place throughout the course of this weekend. From there, the Ephs will finish their fall season with the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament on Oct. 16-18. The women will enter their winter training from there and emerge from their “hibernation” to take on their first rival of the spring, Skidmore, on March 12. The Ephs handily defeated the Thoroughbreds in their spring bout last year with a score of 8-1.

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