Ephs excel at New England Championship

September 28, 2016 by Scott Shelton, Staff Writer

Juli Raventos ’18 won the singles competition this weekend at the ITA New England Championships. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Juli Raventos ’18 won the singles competition this weekend at the ITA New England Championships. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

At the ITA New England Championships, Juli Raventos ’18 won the singles competition and, along with partner co-captain Linda Shin ’17, placed second in the doubles draw.

“I’m very proud of our team’s effort and success this past weekend at ITAs,” Head Coach Alison Swain ’01 said. “All eight of our players in the main draw advanced to continue to play into the later rounds of the tournament including two of our three doubles teams in the semifinals and five of our six singles players competing in the round of 16. The level of competition was extremely high, and we competed well to win so many matches over the course of the weekend. Juli and Linda’s success is very exciting for our program. They both put in so much effort, and I know our entire team was thrilled to cheer them on on Sunday.”

In the doubles finals, it was Wesleyan versus Williams. Eudice Chong and Victoria Yu lined up against Shin and Raventos. Raventos and Shin were No. 1 in doubles with Chong and Yu at No. 2 and, like the singles final, the two seed came out on top.

In the singles semifinal round, Raventos eliminated Amherst’s Vicki Ip in straight sets 6–3, 6–1 to advance to the finals to meet Chong, who had defeated Yu in the other semifinal match 6–1, 6–1.

Chong claimed the first set in the championship match 6–3. However, in the second set, the first three games all went to deuce and Raventos took a 2–1 lead into game four. She then won games four and five to establish a 4–1 lead on her way to a 6–3 victory that set up a third and deciding set.

The No. 1 Eph player opened the third set holding her serve and then authored a break of Chong’s serve to take a 2–0 lead. However, Chong responded by taking the next two games to knot the score at two all.

Though she trailed in game five, Raventos rallied to hold serve and take a 3–2 lead. In the next two games, both players got to game point, but Raventos captured both of those games to build her lead to 5–2.

Chong took games eight and nine to narrow Raventos’ lead to 5–4 with Chong serving. Raventos broke Chong’s serve in a tight final game and captured the ITA New England Singles title 3–6, 6–3, 6–4.

With the win, Raventos earned the right to compete in the ITA Oracle Cup, formerly the ITA Small College Championships. The Oracle Cup is slated to be contested Oct. 13–16 in Surprise, Ariz. Raventos and Swain will decide next week if the Eph junior will head out to Arizona. In addition to the win, Raventos also earned All–American honors.

The last time Chong and Raventos met was in the NCAA Singles title match where Chong prevailed 6–2, 7–5. This  weekend’s contest marked the third time that Raventos has defeated Chong in singles and she improved her record to 3–1 over Chong. Chong’s only Div. III losses have come at the hands of Raventos.

Raventos and Chong faced each other again on the next day as the Wesleyan duo of Chong and Yu lined up against Raventos and Shin in doubles finals after a short break following the singles title match.

On Saturday, Mia Gancayco ’18, seeded No. 9, played No. 6 Yu from Wesleyan. She lost in straight sets 6–3, 6–0 to send Yu into a match with Giulia McDonnell Nieto Del Rio ’18.

In her first match of the day, McDonnell Nieto Del Rio faced Bowdoin’s Joulia Likhanskaia, the third seed. McDonnell Nieto Del Rio upset Lukhanskaia in straight sets 6–1, 6–0, but she fell in the quarterfinals to Wesleyan’s Yu in three sets. Yu took the first set 6–4 and McDonnell Nieto Del Rio posted a 6–4 win of her own in set two, but Yu took the third set 6–3.

Co-captain Hannah Atkinson ’17 squared off against eighth-seeded Ip of Amherst in her Round of 16 match. Ip came out on top winning 6–4, 6–2.

Leah Bush ’19 opened the day playing No. 5 Alex Fields from Middlebury. Bush was defeated 7–6 (3), 6–2.

The women next face Amherst in a dual match on Oct. 8.

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