Women's Tennis Falls 6-3 to NESCAC Rival Middlebury
Issue   |   Tue, 05/03/2016 - 23:07

Last Saturday’s beautiful late afternoon sun provided a picturesque background for Amherst women’s tennis’ senior day, but the purple and white were unable to provide a victory befitting such a day, falling to Middlebury in a 6-3 heartbreaker.
Middlebury arrived at the Amherst tennis courts riding high off of their recent victory over the number one team in the nation, Emory, but any momentum the Panthers’ might have been carrying was wiped away with Amherst’s domination on the doubles courts. The purple and white started the match off by sweeping aside their opponents on third doubles court, with the pairing of Rebecca Pol ’16 and Avery Wagman ’18 notching an 8-2 victory, which pushed the duo’s record to an impressive 11-1 so far this spring.

Shortly after, the number two pairing of Vickie Ip ’18 and Kelsey Chen ’19 garnered a matching 8-2 victory, giving Amherst an impressive 2-0 lead in the match. However, Amherst failed to close out the sweep of doubles actions, with the top duo of Suhasini Ghosh ’16 and Sarah Monteagudo ’16 losing in a 9-7 nail-biter.

Ghosh and Monteagudo’s loss proved to be a sign of things to come for the purple and white, as singles play saw Amherst lose five of the six matches, with most of the losses coming in gut-wrenching fashion. Middlebury knotted the overall affair at 2-2 by claiming a 6-4, 6-0 win on the fourth court, before Amherst reclaimed a 3-2 lead behind Chen’s 6-4, 6-1 victory on court number five.

However, Chen proved be the last member of the purple and white to walk off the court in triumph, while the Panthers prevailed in three sets in each of the four remaining courts, thus closing off any hope of an Amherst victory.

“I’m going to miss being on the team and being able to compete and be supported by my teammates,” Pol said. Looking ahead to the playoffs, she argued, “The team needs to just make sure that we are coming out confident and ready to fight. It’s been a tough season and everyone is good this year. We just need to make sure we are on top of our game and giving it all our especially since this is our last go for five members of the team.”

With the loss, Amherst, ranked No. 7 nationally, concludes regular-season play with a record of 11-6 overall and 5-2 in conference. The purple and white will kick off post-season play on Friday, May 6, when they face sixth-seeded Tufts in the first round of the NESCAC tournament at Bates.

Amherst, the third seed, will enter as favorites, having already beaten the Jumbos 6-3 this season.