Women’s Tennis Falls to Little Three Rival Williams
Issue   |   Wed, 10/07/2015 - 00:31

The Amherst women’s tennis team traveled out to Williams this weekend to play its first dual match of the 2015-2016 campaign, hoping to break the Ephs’ win streak in the last five matchups against the Jeffs. Though the team was unable to overcome Williams this time around, Amherst showed areas in which they might be able to outmatch their rivals in the next matchup.

The Jeffs also played Williams in their fall opening dual match last season, losing a close battle 5-4, before eventually facing the Ephs again at the spring national championships. Though the Jeffs lost to the eventual national champion Williams squad, they rallied to grab third and have certainly been carrying that momentum into this season with strong results in their regional invitational last weekend.

This weekend, the Jeffs came short of cracking the Ephs after a 9-0 defeat from results in singles and doubles. Amherst showed its depth, bringing players from every grade level, and forced a few of the matches into three-set battles.
“This weekend was definitely a tough one,” captain Sue Ghosh ’16 said. “Everyone played really hard, and there were a lot of close matches that could have gone either way.”

One of the weekend highlights came on the No. 1 singles court, where Ghosh faced Williams’ Juli Raventos. After dropping the first set 5-7, Ghosh came back to win the next set 6-4 and then forced Raventos into extra games before falling 5-10 in the third set.

Jackie Calla ’17 on the No. 4 singles court also pushed her Williams foe, Julia Cancio, to three sets, bouncing back from a 2-6 first set defeat to win 6-4 in the second. She was just edged by Cancio, who was an All-American in doubles last year, in the final set 13-11. On the No. 5 singles court, captain Sarah Monteagudo ’16 played out a tough three sets before ultimately falling in her matchup, 6-3, 0-6, 4-6.

Perhaps the highest powered matchup of the dual match came on the No. 1 doubles court, with Amherst’s Ghosh and Vickie Ip ’18 facing Williams’ Raventos and Linda Shin in a matchup of doubles teams that were ranked fourth and first nationally in the final ITA national polls last spring. Ghosh/Ip had played a Williams doubles squad of Cancio and Mia Giancayco in an 8-3 defeat at the spring national championships, but came closer to the higher-ranked Raventos/Shin team this weekend, falling 8-4.

With the loss, Amherst drops to 0-1, while Williams moves up to 2-0. Though the win gives Williams its 28th straight overall dual match victory, the longest in their program history, Amherst still holds the edge in the direct rivalry matchups with a 39-35 lead dating back to 1977.

“Having this match was really good for the team,” Ghosh said. “I think we are now all a little bit more motivated and pumped to beat them when we play them again in the spring time. It only goes up from here, and sometimes you learn more from your losses more than your wins.”

Amherst now turns its attention back to invitational play this coming weekend. The team will travel up to the Middlebury Invitational this weekend for their penultimate fall competition. The invitational will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 10 and 11.