Women’s Tennis Leans on Strong Doubles Play in Recent Matches
Issue   |   Tue, 04/10/2018 - 20:56

The Amherst women’s tennis team travelled to Maine this weekend for three matches and returned home with wins in both of its NESCAC games, beating Bates on Saturday and Bowdoin on Sunday.

Entering the match as favorites, the No. 8 Mammoths took on No. 28 Bates on Saturday afternoon in Lewiston, Maine.

All three Amherst doubles pairings cruised to comfortable victories to give the Mammoths an ideal start. The tandem of senior Avery Wagman and sophomore Anya Invenitsky downed Maisie Silverman and Bella Stone 8-2 on the first doubles court.

On the second doubles court the duo of Vickie Ip ’18 and Jane Fraley ’19 picked up an impressive 8-3 win, while the all-sophomore pairing of Camille Smukler and Maddie Dewire notched a clinical 8-1 victory on the third doubles court.

On the singles courts, Smukler convincingly downed Silverman in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 at the top of the ladder.

However, on the second court, Ip lost to Bates’ Hannah Sweeney, who continued her outstanding debut season. Sweeney won the first set 6-0, but Ip bounced back to take the closely contested second set 6-4. Ip’s spirited effort in the second set was not enough as Sweeney prevailed 10-3 in the super tie-break.

Sweeney’s splendid performance turned out to be the Bobcats solitary win in the entire tie. Dewire, Ivenitsky, Wagman and Trapness powered past their respective opponents to guide Amherst to an impressive 8-1 win.

Later on Saturday, the Mammoths faced an uphill battle against Emory, which entered the match as the top-ranked team in the nation.

Continuing its rich vein of form on the doubles courts, Amherst managed to take two out of the three doubles matches. Ip and Fraley defeated Anna Fuhr and Stephanie Taylor 8-5 and the tandem of Smukler and Dewire battled to an 8-6 victory over Katie Chang and Daniela Lopez. Heading into singles play with a 2-1 advantage, Amherst was on course to pull off a major upset.

However, Emory rallied from behind, claiming five of the six singles matches to seal the win.

Amherst’s lone point on the singles courts came at the top of the ladder as Smukler won her nerve-racking, marathon match in the tie break of the third set. The only difference between Smukler and Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico in the opening two sets was a solitary break of service in each set, as Smukler took the first set 6-4 and Gonzalez-Rico clinched the second set 6-4. The final set went all the way to a tie break, in which Smukler held her nerve and secured a memorable 7-3 tie break win.

On the other courts, Ip, Ivenitsky, Wagman and Trapness all fought hard but lost in the deciding sets of their respective matches which allowed Emory to close out the tie 6-3. However, this performance will certainly give Amherst a lot of confidence for its remaining matches.

On Sunday afternoon, the Mammoths, showing no signs of fatigue, played their third match of the weekend against Bowdoin and emerged victorious, 6-3.

Even though Wagman and Ivenitsky went down on the first doubles court, the other Amherst duos won on the lower two courts to give the Mammoths a 2-1 lead.

In singles play, Smukler picked up her third victory of the weekend, downing Tessa Trinka in straight sets.

Lower in the ladder, Dewrire, Iventisky and Wagman all picked up straight-set wins to help Amherst win 6-3 and finish off a positive weekend.

Facing off against Conn. College on Tuesday, the Mammoths started the match with a trio of wins on the doubles court. In a controlling position from the start of the contest, Amherst did not look back, winning five out of the six singles matches. This win moved the team to 3-0 in conference play, as the Mammoths sealed the 8-1 victory.

Amherst returns to action on Friday, April 13, when it will host Brandeis University at 4 p.m.

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