Wesleyan Tennis Player

c/o Sterling Rodas

The women’s tennis team got off to a dominant start this year at their doubles match against Hamilton on Sunday, Oct. 2. The Cardinals delivered an insurmountable performance, ending the day of play at the Bacon Field House with a 9–0 victory against the Continentals. 

Head coach Mike Fried noted that the tournament was a unique opportunity for the Cards as dual matches are typically played in the spring, so this head-to-head match against Hamilton was a scheduling exception that allowed the team to get back into the swing of play. 

“It was pretty unique,” Fried said. “This was a scheduling kind of abnormality that had us playing a head-to-head match in the fall, but it was a great opportunity for us to get a feeling of playing in that team format again, getting back in the swing of playing head-to-head matches.” 

To kick off the doubles portion of the tournament, the reigning All-American pair Caitlyn Ferrante ’23 and Sasha Gaeth ’23 took a 8–2 win. Nika Vesely ’25 and Kristina Yu ’22 MA ’23 then took an 8–0 victory to open their first match as a doubles pair with a strong showing. Finally, Katie Fleischman ’23 and Renna Mohsen-Breen ’25 defeated the Continentals 8–2. Wesleyan dropped just four games across the three doubles matches. 

The Cards then continued to dominate in the singles portion of the dual match, where all six matches were sealed by the Red and Black in straight sets. To kick things off, Serim Jin ’23 took a 6–0, 6–0 victory over Hamilton’s Kate Solowey. Mohsen-Breen then took to the court again with a strong 6–0, 6–1 win over Samantha Rainero. 

In her debut showing for the Cardinals, Sarah Youngberg ’26 showed no fear with a 6–1, 6–0 win over Claire Cutler, before veteran Ferrante won her second match of the day against Shannon Cicero 6–4, 6–3. To pull off the Cardinals’ streak of wins, Vesely sealed her match against Stephanie Pratt 6–2, 6–2 as Yu won against Hannah Walpole 6–1, 6–1. 

“The team did a really good job of coming out with the right energy on the doubles score and executing a lot of the stuff we’ve been working on in practice and then carrying that over into the singles,” Fried said. “As the results were fortunate enough to dictate, it was a pretty straightforward effort on our part, as we were working on the things that we’ve been working on in practice and executing pretty well.”

Fried added that the dual match was important in giving the women’s team an opportunity to adjust to the start of the fall season and get back into the pace of competition. Since tennis has two official NCAA seasons, with the majority of the team’s head-to-head matches in the spring, the fall season allows the Cards to get acclimated to traveling and competing as a team. 

“One of the key parts of the fall is team chemistry and building our team culture and incorporating the freshmen that we have on the team and a new composition every year as people graduate and new people come in,” Fried said. “We continue to prioritize that and work hard on making sure it’s as cohesive as possible.”

The Cards will be in action again this weekend at the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament (NEWITT) Tournament, scheduled to be held from Friday, Oct. 7 to Sunday, Oct. 9. The tournament is hosted by Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. 

Fried remarked that this next tournament will be another chance for the team to get back to more competition, especially given the unique format of the tournament. Teams play in teams of two for three sub matches, consisting of two singles matches and one doubles match with the singles players paired together. Then, the team that wins two of those three matches advances to the next round. 

“It’s a little bit unique and a fun format that everybody usually enjoys, and more importantly, an opportunity to get back out there on the road as a team and continue to work on things more on,” Fried said. 

Jem Shin can be reached at jshin01@wesleyan.edu.

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