No. 4 Ranked Women’s Tennis Impresses Against Top Competition in California
Issue   |   Tue, 03/22/2016 - 23:26
Eugene Lee '16
Women’s tennis helped head coach Jackie Bagwell earn her 400th career win this week against Redlands

Fresh off a successful 2014-15 season that saw the team reach the semifinals of the NCAA tournament, the Amherst women’s tennis team entered the spring portion of the season ranked fourth in the nation. The team went 3-3 record on a spring break trip to Southern California in which they faced five top Division III programs and one Division II school.

On Sunday, March 13 in the first match of the trip, the hype surrounding the team seemed well deserved after Amherst handily defeated Hardin-Simmons, 9-0. The purple and white cruised, claiming every singles match in straight sets while Hardin-Simmons only managed to win 11 total games in the six matches.

The dominance carried over to the doubles courts, which saw all three doubles pairs notch easy wins for Amherst. The play of Vickie Ip ’18 from the number two singles spot and the number three doubles pairing of Jackie Calla ’17 and Maddy Sung ’16 stood out in the lopsided affair, with Ip notching a 6-0, 6-0 victory and Calla and Sung posting an 8-0 win.

However, the following matches proved to be much tougher tests for the team. Amherst fell to West coast powerhouses Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, both of which rank in the top five in the nation, by matching final scores of 6-3 on Monday and then Wednesday. However, even in defeat Amherst mustered several victories, including impressive wins in both matches from the number two doubles pairing of Ip and Kelsey Chen ’19.

Amherst rebounded strongly from the back-to-back defeats, posting a dominant 9-0 victory against Vassar. Again, the purple and white controlled all aspects of the match, sweeping each singles match, with Megan Adamo ’17 managing a 6-0, 6-0 win from the number five singles spot.

The closest Vassar came to a win was on the third doubles court against the pairing of Rebecca Pol ’16 and Avery Wagman ’18, but Amherst came out ahead in a close 8-6 affair.

The impressive play continued on Thursday in a hard-fought 5-4 defeat against Division II opponent Azusa Pacific.
Captain Sarah Monteagudo ’16 singled out the Azusa Pacific matchup as the highlight of the trip. Amherst held its own against the higher-division team, delivering two victories in both singles and doubles play.

The purple and white ended their time in California on a high note, delivering head coach Jackie Bagwell her 400th career victory at Amherst in a 6-3 win over University of the Redlands. With the win, Bagwell has amassed an amazing record of 400-85 over her 25 seasons at the helm of the program, highlighted by the 1999 National Championship and numerous singles and doubles champions whom she’s coached.

The victory over Redlands gave the purple and white an overall record of 3-4 on the season following a loss in the fall to archrival Williams.

“This wasn’t our best spring break results wise but after seeing the competition in California the team is really motivated to improve,” Monteagudo said.

However, even having experienced such a challenging week, the program still sits at No. 6 in the national rankings and have their sights set on national championship trophy that has eluded them since 1999. Amherst returns to the court on Sunday, March 27 in their first NESCAC match of the spring, a home matchup at 10:00 a.m. against Colby.