Women’s tennis wins third straight Little Three crown

Women’s tennis (9–4, 3–1 in the NESCAC) returned to action Saturday afternoon, winning its first home dual of the season over the recently-christened Amherst Mammoths.

The Ephs’ 8-1 victory was their eighth straight over Amherst and tied the all-time series between the archrivals at 39.

Uncharacteristically for the Ephs, none of their three doubles matches went down to the wire, but they still came away with two of three possible points.

Juli Raventos ’18 and co-captain Linda Shin ’17 defeated Anya Ivenitsky and Avery Wagman in only 10 games to give the Ephs an early 1-0 lead.

Julia Cancio ’18 and Emily Zheng ’20 took the court against Megan Adamo and Claire Carpenter with the chance to double the Ephs’ lead and cement their advantage. The pairing managed just that with an 8-4 win.

The top Mammoth pairing of Camille Smukler and Kelsey Chen took a crucial point off the Eph partnership of co-captain Hannah Atkinson ’17 and Chloe Henderson ’20 to reduce the deficit in an 8-5 win.

The Ephs dominated in singles, however, and locked down first-set wins on all six courts.

Atkinson earned a straight-sets win over Camilla Trapness, conceding only one game en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory.

Leah Bush ’19 was the next Eph off the court. Her match against Chen on Court Two was lopsided in the opening set, as Bush recorded a 6-1 win. The second set was more even, but she came out victorious in a 6-4 scoreline.

The Ephs then needed one more point to secure the victory, and Raventos delivered the finishing blow in her return to the No. 1 singles spot. She dismissed Smukler 6-3, 6-2.

Even with the win already guaranteed, Mia Gancayco ’18, Shin and Cancio completed the singles sweep.

Gancayco fought hard to earn her 6-2, 6-1 victory over Adamo on Court Five. On neighboring Court Six, Cancio secured a 6-3, 6-2 win over Wagman. In the final match of the dual on Court Three, Shin cruised to a comfortable 6-1 opening set, but Ivenitsky came from behind to win 7-5 in the second. The deadlock forced a third-set match tiebreaker, played instead of a full third set since the outcome had already been determined. Shin saw off her opponent 10-3.

“We really played as a team this weekend,” Atkinson said. “In particular, we carried our momentum from doubles into singles, with all six of us winning our first sets to keep the pressure on.”

With the victory, the Ephs secured their third straight Little Three title and their 13th overall since 1990.

“Winning the Little Three was special,” Atkinson added.

The women face Bowdoin at home on Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m.