After finishing their 2015 campaign with a NESCAC tournament appearance and sending two members of the squad to the NCAA tournament last May, the women’s tennis team appeared poised for a strong fall season. Their first test came in the form of the Lindsay Morehouse Invitational at Williams College, a round-robin-style tournament featuring many of the top players in DIII tennis. Overall, the Cardinals performed admirably in every division, amassing several quality wins and building up confidence for the remainder of the season.
“It was great to have the team back together competing after a long summer of training,” said Ella Lindholm-Uzzi ’17. “It was obvious that all our hard work had paid off and that Wes tennis is really a force to be reckoned with this year.”
Reigning NCAA champion Eudice Chong ’18 and newcomer Victoria Yu ’19 competed in the Hopkins Division, both posting records of 2-1 for the weekend. Yu looked particularly strong in her first collegiate matches, downing Christensen of Vassar College 6-0, 6-1 and pummeling Gerger of Middlebury 6-1, 6-1 on her way to the finals of the eight-player division. Chong also continued her dominant play from last season, trouncing Vassar’s Fitzgerald 6-1, 6-0 before losing her first college dual match to Raventos of Williams in a third-set tiebreak (3-6, 6-3, 10-7). Chong would bounce back admirably, however, defeating Gerger 7-6, 6-0 to take third place in the division. Yu and Chong would also team up for doubles, defeating Skidmore’s squad 8-3 and falling to Hart and Gancayco of Williams 7-9.
“This weekend really showed how much we all improved compared to last year,” Chong said. “Everyone worked so hard the whole summer, and I think we made statement as a team, proving what a threat we can be this coming season.”
All-American Helen Klass-Warch ’18 and Nicole McCann ’18 played in the Perry Division, amassing 2-1 and 3-0 records, respectively. McCann showed spectators and opponents alike that her hard work this summer paid off, defeating two players from Skidmore College and knocking off a Williams rival 6-3, 6-4. Klass-Warch also had a strong showing, losing only to Gancayco of Williams 3-6, 2-6.
“This weekend was a great start to the season,” McCann said. “It was good to get a lot of matches in, in order to get used to competing again. Everyone fought hard and competed really well. In addition to this weekend, the success of last season has been very exciting as our team is even stronger this year.”
Klass-Warch shares her teammate’s enthusiasm.
“The tournament this weekend was a great start to the season,” she said. “We all came out really strong despite only having a few days to practice together. I think we’re going to be able to use our momentum from last year to help us in the individual fall season and then into the spring season. We have a great group of girls again and we’re all really excited for this season and to work really hard to do our best in our conference and nationally if possible.”
Dasha Dubinski ’18 dominated in the Fay Division, downing two Williams opponents with ease before beating a Skidmore player to capture first place in the division. She and Klass-Warch would go winless in doubles, however. Lindholm-Uzzi and Maddie James ’16 competed in the Mission Division, posting records of 1-1 and 0-3 respectively.
Next up for the Cardinals is the ITA Regional Tournament at Middlebury and a chance for Wesleyan to prove they deserve a place among the nation’s top-ranked teams. Chong missed last year’s ITA tournament as she was overseas, representing Hong Kong in the 2014 Asian Games.