Last Saturday, the women’s tennis team took to the John Wood Memorial Tennis Courts to sweep Conn. College, 9-0. The Cards have now defeated Conn. seven times in the last eight meetings, having bageled the Camels in three of the last four. The team was happy to play a home match and continues to live up to its new ranking of 17th in Division III, 17 spots better than where the squad was at the beginning of the 2014-2015 campaign.
“Home matches are definitely better and more fun for us to play,” said Helen Klass-Warch ’18.
Nicole McCann ’18 echoed her teammate’s sentiments.
“It’s great that we have a lot of home matches because it’s always nice to have friends and family come to watch and support us,” she said.
Playing at home surely motivated the squad, as its utter domination of its NESCAC opponent showed.
“We played a pretty complete match against Conn., with solid doubles and singles,” said Head Coach Mike Fried.
In the first singles position, Klass-Warch stepped up to win her match 6-0, 6-3, before teaming up with Eudice Chong ’18 to breeze through an undemanding win at first doubles, 8-2. Chong, who normally leads the Cardinals at the top of the singles ladder, got to take the day off, only having to worry about doubles.
Aashli Budhiraja ’18 dominated in the second singles position over her Camel opponent 6-1, 6-1, and Dasha Dubinsky ’18 was victorious at fourth singles by a count of 6-1, 6-3. The two first-years then paired up to win rather handily at the third doubles position, 8-1.
The third singles spot was won 6-1, 6-1 by McCann. Captain Anna Howard ’15 battled out the fifth singles spot, winning 7-5, 6-0. McCann and Howard then played in the second doubles spot, and failed to drop a game, blanking the Camels 8-0.
Jessica Seidman ’16 dominated the sixth singles spot, only dropping one game in each set en route to Wesleyan’s 9-0 pounding.
This match has served as even more fuel for the team’s confidence after their jump in the rankings last month.
“The new ranking was obviously really exciting and I think it showed us that we can hold our own against anyone,” Klass-Warch said.
McCann said that the sudden move up makes the team confident it can improve even further.
“It shows that we still have a long way to go and still have room for improvement, which is a good thing, because we definitely have the potential to improve and a great team environment to do so,” McCann said.
The team has realized that this ranking means they need to work harder to continue their trajectory.
“This year is an important year for us because we are building up our team, so working hard is the main focus,” McCann said. “I think our goals are to work as hard as we can in training and in every match, and let the results produce themselves.”
On Wednesday, April 8, the Cards will travel to Medford, Mass., to take on 19th-ranked Tufts and continue the string of NESCAC matches leading up to the NESCAC Championship in May. Both teams have a mutual victory against Bates this season by a score of 8-1, and the match will have heavy implications on the conference playoffs.
Last spring season, Wesleyan fell to the Jumbos 9-0, and has only beaten Tufts once, in the 1999-2000 season when they won in a close 5-4 match.
“Tufts has been a highly nationally ranked team for many years, but I think that we should be able to compete with them this year for the first time in quite a while,” Fried said. “Part of our success will depend on our ability to adapt, mentally and physically, to their very fast indoor courts”
This week’s match will serve as a great chance for the building Cards to assert their new strength over an opponent they know well.