Women’s tennis secures fourth straight NESCAC title

Korina Neveux ’19 secured the championship title for her team in a win against a Middlebury opponent. Photo courtesy of Sports Information.

Last weekend, women’s tennis defeated Tufts 5-0 and Middlebury 5-3, earning the title of NESCAC champions.

On Saturday, the women got off to a hot start with a 5-0 win over Tufts in the conference semifinals. It was the second meeting of the two teams in a week, with the Ephs overcoming the Jumbos on April 28. Saturday’s win against the Jumbos continued the Ephs’ undefeated season as they advanced to a 17-0 record.

Chloe Henderson ’20 paired up with Mia Gancayco ’18 to notch the first win of the day for the Ephs, overcoming Kat Wiley and Julia Keller by a score of 8-1. Juli Raventos ’18 and Julia Cancio ’18 followed with an 8-3 win before Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio ’18 and Korina Neveux ’19 completed the doubles sweep with an 8-3 win of their own.

“We played disciplined green light doubles, took the 3-0 lead and carried that energy into singles,” head coach Anik Cepeda said.

Cancio earned her second win of the day to lead things off in singles play, bringing the Ephs within one win of clinching. Cancio took the victory in a 6-3, 6-2 match over Tomo Iwasaki.

Raventos followed with a 6-0, 6-4 win, her second victory of the day, to secure the 5-0 victory. Leah Bush ’19 dropped her first set 3-6 and was down 4-5 in the second in an unfinished match against Mina Karamercan, while Henderson’s match was halted at 6-6 (2-1).

Neveux won her first set 6-4, dropped the second 2-6 and was up 1-0 when Raventos clinched the fifth win. Emily Zheng ’20 won her first set 7-5 before play came to a close.

“JC and Juli stepped up their games, while Emily and Kori added scoreboard pressure with a couple key first-set wins,” Cepeda said. “Shout-out to Emily for jumping in and playing a composed and gritty first set. More shout-outs to Leah for saving match points and to Chloe for staying so tough in a first set.”

The 5-0 victory was the fifth sweep of the year for the Ephs. “It’s a joy coaching a team that fights so hard for one another,” Cepeda concluded. “We’re looking forward to the finals!”

On Sunday, the women rode their undefeated season to a NESCAC championship title with a 5-3 victory over Middlebury. The two teams met once during the regular season when the Ephs battled to a 5-4 win on April 7.

Raventos and Cancio  led things off for the Ephs, securing the 8-3 victory over Panthers Katherine Hughes and Skylar Schossberger. Henderson and Gancayco followed with another 8-3 victory before  Neveux and McDonnell Nieto del Rio followed with an 8-5 win to complete the sweep.

Singles proved to be more of a battle, with Middlebury earning wins in No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 singles.  Raventos led off with a win after Christina Puccinelli forced a third set with a 7-6 (7-5) second-set victory.

Then, Hughes defeated Bush, while Heather Boehm overcame Henderson 7-5, 6-0. Catherine Blazye earned the third and final win of the day for Middlebury with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Gancayco. Neveux battled through three sets, however, to secure the championship for the Ephs. In an unfinished match, Cancio was trailing Schossberger 3-0 before the conclusion of play.

The win against Middlebury brings the Ephs up to four NESCAC titles in a row and an all-time lead in NESCAC championships, with 10 victories and one co-championship. The women graduate Cancio, Gancayo, McDonnell Nieto del Rio and Raventos.

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