Women's Tennis Takes Down Top-Ranked Williams
Issue   |   Tue, 04/22/2014 - 22:12
Photo Courtesy of Niahlah Hope '15
Jen Newman '14 earned NESCAC Player of the Week Honors this week.

The fourth-ranked Amherst women’s tennis team made a statement on Saturday, knocking off first-ranked Williams by the convincing score of 7-2. The match was the culmination of the Jeffs’ undefeated week, which included four other wins — all against NESCAC opponents. The wins moved Amherst to 15-3 on the year and 7-0 in the NESCAC, extending its winning streak to six matches.

On Friday, April 18, coach Jackie Bagwell opted to rest her regulars in the team’s match against Conn. College, but the Jeffs still performed well, sweeping the Camels 9-0.
Isabel Camacho ’14 and Megan Adamo ’17 dominated Ellie Rudd and Charlotte Marcoux 8-0 in the top doubles court. Sophomores Rebecca Pol and Maddy Sung also made quick work of their opponents, as did first-years Claire Carpenter and Simone Aisiks. The Jeffs did not have any trouble in singles, either. Adamo beat Marcoux 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 1 slot, and Aisiks and Carpenter won from the No. 2 and 3 courts, respectively. Sung, Camacho and Lara Min ’16 all helped close the sweep.

Amherst opened its Saturday tripleheader by hosting Wesleyan, putting together another 9-0 sweep, headlined by Jordan Brewer ’14 and Gabby Devlin ’14. The senior pair beat Olivia Koh and Grace Smith in the top doubles court, and each one also picked up a singles win. The teams of Zoe Pangalos ’14 and Jen Newman ’14 and Safaa Aly ’15 and Sarah Monteagudo ’16 each took care of their opposite numbers to put the Jeffs up 3-0 after doubles. Newman, Sue Ghosh ’16, Monteagudo and Adamo also collected singles victories to help Amherst extend its winning streak to four matches.

Next up for the Jeffs was Hamilton, and Bagwell chose again to rest her starters in preparation for the next match against Williams. The second team was up to the task once more, carrying the Jeffs to an 8-1 win.

Ghosh and Camacho paired up to win 8-3 in the No. 1 doubles court, and Pol and Sung triumphed by the same score in the No. 2 court. Carpenter and Aisiks fell 8-6 in the final doubles match, giving the Continentals their only win of the day.

Adamo won in the top singles spot, and Carpenter and Aisiks each bounced back to defeat their opponents in singles on courts two and three. Sung, Camacho and Min wrapped up the Jeffs fifth straight win on the last three singles courts.

The Saturday afternoon showdown with top-ranked and reigning national champions Williams was a rematch of the only dual-match Amherst played in the fall. The Ephs got the best of the Jeffs that time, 6-3, but the hosts were more than up to the challenge Saturday.

“Even though we played Wesleyan in the morning, playing Williams is so motivating for us,” Newman said. “I think that kept all of us from feeling the fatigue of such a long day.”

“I think all of us wanted to go out there, play our best and see what happened. Williams vs. Amherst — you never know what happens. It’s always just a solid day of tennis,” Ghosh added.

Brewer and Devlin dispatched Kara Shoemaker and Rebecca Curran in the top doubles match 8-4. The other two doubles matches were closer, but Newman and Pangalos squeezed past Kathleen Elkins and Maria Pylypiv 9-7 and Aly and Monteagudo beat Linda Shin and Alex Stone 8-6.

“Winning all three doubles matches is such a huge advantage going into singles,” added Newman, who earned NESCAC Player of the Week Honors this past week. “It felt amazing to get all three and was a huge boost of confidence.”

Shoemaker knocked off Brewer in straight sets in the top singles spot, but Devlin, Newman and Ghosh secured wins over Elkins, Shin and Pylypiv, respectively. Curran topped Pangalos on the No. 5 court to capture the Ephs’ second and final win of the afternoon, as Monteagudo fought Monica Pastor to a three-set win in the No. 6 court.

“The match was super, super intense. I definitely think it was the most intense match of the season as of now. The energy was absolutely insane. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my team that pumped up or that energized,” Ghosh remarked on the win.

“A triple header is super hard but we all pulled together and everyone played incredibly,” Newman said. “It was an incredible day, and I’m so happy to be a part of such an amazing team.”