The women’s tennis team was granted a three-week break from competition following its spring trip to Orlando, Fla. The long hiatus offered Wesleyan an opportunity to recuperate and improve as they knew they would be tested in their next match on the road against ninth-ranked Middlebury on Saturday, April 6.
Unfortunately the Panthers won every match, beating the Cards by a score of 9-0. Freshman Jessica Seidman had the closest match of the afternoon, winning the first set 7-6 but inevitably losing 10-5 in a super-tie break after dropping the second set in her #4 match.
Things got better for the Cards in their next opportunity on the court. Wesleyan rebounded by beating Hamilton 7-2, improving the Cards’ all-time record against the Continentals to 9-1. More importantly, the win marked Wesleyan’s first NESCAC win on the season and offered optimism for the future.
Clare DuBrin ’16 teamed up with Genevieve Aniello ’13 to win 8-2 against the Continentals’ #1 doubles team. Though at the conclusion of doubles play, the Cardinals saw themselves down 2-1 and in need of some clutch singles play. That is exactly what they got, sweeping the six singles matches en route to a comfortable 7-2 victory.
DuBrin won her singles match at the #1 seed, winning her last two sets 6-0, 6-2 after dropping the first set in a tiebreak. Aniello and Seidman each dominated their matches at the #3 and #4 spots, respectively. The two athletes posted 6-0, 6-2 straight-set victories against their challengers.
Coach Michael Fried pointed to the training in Florida as a reason for the Cards’ victory.
“The idea behind scheduling the DI schools in Florida was to better prepare us for the top nationally ranked DIII programs that we’re now facing in NESCAC competition,” Fried said. “Our men’s team is a perfect example of what we were trying to accomplish. While we lost three incredibly close matches on the Florida trip, we’ve won three 5-4 NESCAC matches, two of them against nationally ranked opponents, in the last five days. I don’t think that would have happened without the experience in Florida, and I’m hoping the trip will be of similar value to the women.”
The two matches put Wesleyan’s record at 3-7 through their first 10 contests of the year. However, the Cardinals have five more spring matches scheduled in the NESCAC to close out the year and potentially earn a place in postseason competition.
Women’s tennis resumes competition on the road against Tufts on Wednesday, April 17, followed by back-to-back home matches against Colby College on Saturday, April 20 and Conn College on Sunday, April 21.
“I think that the key to the remainder of the season will be to continue to come together as a team, to embrace the challenge at hand, and to enjoy the competition,” Fried said. “We’ve got a tough schedule, but we’ve also got a great opportunity to continue to work hard and test ourselves.”