The women’s tennis team pulled out an historic win this past week on Wednesday, April 8, defeating 19th-ranked Tufts University for the second time ever. The match was forced indoors, to the Hirsh Tennis Center, due to inclement weather. The team followed up its huge victory with a tough loss to nationally top-ranked Williams on Sunday, April 12.
The Cards have faced Tufts 11 times in the history of the school’s tennis program, but had not won since 1999, when the team also clinched the match in a close 5-4 battle. The last three times the teams have met, including last year, Wesleyan has lost 9-0, making this year’s win all the more exceptional.
Starting with doubles, the team gained an early lead. The number-one doubles team of Eudice Chong ’18 and Helen Klass-Warch ’18 pulled out an 8-4 win. Following this match, the duo moved to 8-1 on the season in dual matches and 4-0 in conference play.
Nicole McCann ’18 and captain Anna Howard ’15 won at the number-two doubles spot 8-5, bringing their season record to 5-2. The two are 3-1 against NESCAC opponents during the 2015 spring campaign. Aashli Budhiraja ’18 and Dasha Dubinsky ’18 closed out the third doubles spot, 8-4, and increased their winning percentage to a remarkable 8-1 after defeating the Jumbos. They are 3-1 in conference, switching time between second and third doubles. The second and third doubles pairs switched spots for the next match against the Ephs.
Up 3-0, the team needed to pull out two singles wins to defeat the Jumbos. Chong continued her undefeated singles streak to win at the first singles spot 6-1, 6-1. Budhiraja also pulled through for her team, winning at the third singles spot, 6-1, 6-0 to solidify the victory.
Klass-Warch battled at second singles, losing a close first set, 7-6, falling in the tiebreak, 7-5. The first-year also dropped the second set, 6-3. McCann lost what was probably the most thrilling match of the contest, winning the first set 6-3, losing the second 3-6, and dropping the super-tie break in a sudden death, win by two situation, 10-12.
Dubinsky fell at fifth singles, 6-3, 6-3, and Howard was only able to pick up four games, falling 6-2, 6-2.
After an exciting and tight win, the Cards did not have much time to rest before turning to face their next NESCAC opponent, number one-ranked Williams College, at home on Sunday.
While Chong was able to continue her winning streak, pulling out the win at first singles match 6-4, 6-1, Williams won the rest of the singles matches. Chong is now 9-0 in dual matches this season. Klass-Warch lost at second singles, 6-2, 6-3. The Cards also fell to the Ephs in doubles, losing the first and third doubles spots, 5-8, and the second spot, 1-8. Budhiraja fell to her opponent from Williams at third singles, 6-4, 6-2.
McCann was able to give her opponent a tough match, losing 7-5, 6-3, and Dubinsky fell at fifth singles, 6-1, 6-0. Howard rounded out the singles ladder, falling 6-0, 6-0.
“I am proud of each of my teammates for how they played and for their attitude on the court during the Williams match,” Howard said. “Even when the score was not going our way, everyone stayed positive and played the best that they could all the way through until the last point.”
The Cardinals are now 0-40 against the Ephs, failing to win a match in the 41 year history between the two teams.
Next Sunday, April 19, the Cards will take on the next Little Three opponent in Amherst at John Wood Memorial Tennis Courts at 2 p.m.
“We will take this next week to work on specific aspects of each of our games, so that we can be as prepared as we can going into our match against Amherst,” Howard said.
Amherst is ranked third in the country, and the match will be another tough test for Wes. The Cardinals are 1-34 all-time against the Lady Jeffs, with the sole win coming in the third ever meeting between the two schools in 1980, via a 5-2 result.