In a rematch of last season’s NCAA championship match, the women’s tennis team began their 2011 fall campaign by hosting Williams last Saturday evening.
For both teams, the contest was their first taste of action since the Ephs edged out the Jeffs 5-4 to win the NCAA title in May.
Much has changed, however, for the Jeffs since then, as they lost six seniors this offseason, and come into the year looking for younger players to fill that void.
That youthful potential was certainly on display as sophomore Jordan Brewer headlined the Lady Jeffs’ singles matches. In the No. 1 spot, she ran right through Nancy Worley, 6-2, 6-1, having little trouble in dispatching her opponent.
Right behind Brewer in the No. 2 slot was senior Laura Danzig, who took on Kristin Alotta in what became an intense battle. Alotta jumped on top early, winning the first set 6-4. But Danzig did not falter, coming back in the second set, 7-6 (4), to push the match to a deciding third. Danzig continued to get stronger as the match progressed, as she earned the victory by a comfortable 6-2 margin in the final set. While that top-heavy success was good news for Amherst, they did not have much more to celebrate in the rest of their singles contests. The team was unable to earn another victory, although Jen Newman ’14 did fight through a tight three-setter before succumbing to her opponent.
In doubles play, the Jeffs did not fare much better. Again displaying the strength at the top of their lineup, Amherst did have a silver lining, as Brewer and Danzig paired up to earn an 8-4 victory at the first spot. The other doubles matchups, however, went to Williams. They were able to wrap up the team victory, 6-3.
Although the Jeffs would have loved to defeat their rivals, they certainly will not be taking this loss too hard. Many of their veteran players sat this contest out, and the matchup would look very different in mid-season. As they progress through the fall, the Lady Jeffs will work these players back in, and we will likely see many of them return for the ITA Championships next weekend at Bates.