Individual Victories Highlight Women’s Tennis NESCAC Performance
Issue   |   Tue, 10/25/2016 - 21:58
Clarus Student
Junior Avery Wagman was a bright spot for the puple and white this weekend, going 4-1 overall and notching an impressive 3-0 record in doubles play.

The Amherst women’s tennis team concluded its fall season, with a mixed bag of results at the Middlebury Invitational. The tournament pitted the young and untested purple and white against NESCAC rivals Middlebury and Williams, as well as local opponent Brandeis University, and Amherst finished with an overall record of 1-4-1.

Saturday was reserved for singles action, with the purple and white taking on each of the three other participant schools in the standard six vs. six format. Amherst first faced off against archrival Williams, the reigning NCAA-runner ups, and the Ephs’ quality was too high for an Amherst team that sent out four underclassmen, as demonstrated by Williams’ 5-1 victory.

Jackie Calla ’17E was the lone member of the purple and white to register a victory, closing out her Amherst singles’ career with a commanding 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory on the number two court. On the third court, first-year Camille Smucker demonstrated her impressive potential, pushing her opponent to a third set and losing a heartbreaking 10-3 tiebreaker.

On the other courts, Anya Itvensky ’19 came the closest to stealing a set from the Williams juggernaut, managing to force a first set tiebreaker on court six, which she narrowly lost. In the other matches, Kelsey Chen ’19 lost 6-1, 6-1 on court one, captain Avery Wagman ’18 lost 6-2, 6-0 on the third court and Camilla Trapness ’19 fell 6-0, 6-3 in the fifth slot.

Amherst suffered another setback when the team faced Middlebury, which had knocked them out of both the NESCAC tournament and the NCAA tournament last spring. The purple and white suffered the same fate on Saturday, losing five out of the six singles matches against the Panthers.

With no Calla in the lineup, Wagman, playing on court two, claimed the sole Amherst victory with an impressive 3-6, 7-5, 10-5. The rest of the purple and white’s lineup couldn’t muster anything against Middlebury, losing every other match in two sets furthering Middlebury’s reputation as Amherst’s bogey team.

Amherst managed to bounce back from these tough losses to snatch a 3-3 tie from Brandeis. With the its lineup almost completely different from the sixsome that faced Williams, the purple and white got contributions from players up and down the roster.

Megan Adamo ’17 contributed a win on the third court, finishing off Brandeis’ Olivia Leavitt 6-2, 7-6 (6). Meanwhile, the sophomore duo of Joanna Booth and Kelly Yang handily vanquished their opponents on the fifth and sixth courts with scores of 6-1, 6-1 and 7-6 (4), 6-1 respectively.

Amherst carried the momentum from this draw forward into Sunday’s doubles action, soundly defeating Brandeis 3-1 in doubles. Calla and Wagman continued their strong tournaments, winning 8-5 on the number one court. Similarly, Booth and Yang built on their strong Saturday showings to put together a solid 8-4 win on the third court. The most comprehensive Amherst victory was reserved for the fourth doubles pairing of Adamo and Claire Carpenter ’17, which swept aside the Brandeis challengers 8-1.

The elation of victory was not to last, as both Middlebury and Williams had their way with the purple and white, each claiming a 3-1 victory. However, even in the midst of these losses, the doubles pair of Calla and Wagman continued to shine. Playing on the number one court, Calla and Wagman put together matching 8-5 victories over quality opponents.

These victories meant Calla, whose collegiate career ended with this tournament, finished with a perfect 4-0 record this weekend. “I think the best part of the tournament was the last day when Jackie won all of her matches,” Wagman said. “It was Jackie’s last collegiate tennis match, so it was nice to see her end on such a high note.”

“I had a great two days this past weekend and it came from thousands of hours of practice,” Calla said. “I couldn’t be happier with the way I ended my tennis here at Amherst and will always hold these last few years close to my heart.”

Amherst begins its spring schedule when the team travels to California over spring break, and its first official game will take place on March 13th against Pomona-Pitzer.