Women’s Tennis Opens Conference Play With 9-0 Sweep of Conn. College
Issue   |   Tue, 04/04/2017 - 23:26
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Junior Avery Wagman provided stellar play from the first doubles and sixth singles courts, winning on each.

After a long layoff due to bad weather, the Amherst women’s tennis team finally returned to action on Tuesday, April 4, facing Connecticut College in their first NESCAC matchup of the season.

The Mammoths swept aside the Camels in the match, dominating both doubles and singles action to the tune of a 9-0 victory.

The match began with action on the three doubles courts, on which Amherst posted three comprehensive wins. The first pairing of Camille Smukler ’20 and Kelsey Chen ’19 rolled to an easy 8-1 win over their Conn. College counterparts.

After going just 1-4 as a pairing on the California Spring Break trip, the win was a welcome one for Smukler and Chen, and they hope it serves as a springboard for future success.

The Camels came closest to getting a point in doubles action on the second court, managing to win three games before falling 8-3 to the duo of Avery Wagman ’18 and Anya Ivenitsky ’20.

The senior captain pairing of Claire Carpenter and Megan Adamo closed out the sweep for Amherst, beginning their last season of conference play with an 8-0 destruction of Conn. College’s third pairing.

With the three victories in doubles play, the Mammoths held a comfortable lead heading into singles play and needed only two victories on the six courts to return home victorious.

In fact, Amherst ended up prevailing in all six matches, with only one court requiring more than the minimum two games.
Wagman, playing in the sixth spot, had the most dominant showing of the evening, sweeping her Camel opponent in matching 6-0 sets.

The victory was Wagman’s fourth consecutive win after falling twice to highly-ranked opponents to begin the season.
Similarly dominant were Camilla Trapness ’19 and Adamo, who notched matching 6-1, 6-1 wins on the fourth and fifth courts, respectively.

With her individual win, Adamo moved to 3-1 on the season in singles action while Trapness brought her singles win percentage up to .500.

Meanwhile, Smukler and Ivenitsky continued their strong starts at the college level, posting 6-1, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-3 victories, respectively. Smukler, ranked 34th in the country, solidified her spot as the undisputed first singles player and the heir apparent to Amherst’s individual national champions of the past few decades.

Additionally, with the season-long departure of stud junior Vickie Ip, the 10th-ranked player in the nation, the strong play at the top of the Mammoths’ lineup bodes well for the rest of the season.

Amherst’s last win in singles play came from Chen, who’s been forced to shoulder most of the burden of Ip’s departure, as Chen both lost her long-term doubles partner and was forced to move up to the second court. However, Chen’s strong showing, a 6-2, 6-1 win, demonstrated her mental fortitude and enormous potential.

With the 9-0 win, Amherst now sits at 3-3 on the season, with all three losses coming to highly ranked opponents in California. Additionally, the win moves the Mammoths, at least for the moment, into a four-way tie for third-place in the NESCAC, level with traditional powerhouses Middlebury, Wesleyan and Williams.

Amherst will seek to build on its modest three-game win streak with a key conference double-header at home on Saturday, April 8.

The Mammoths will first take on Bowdoin at 1 p.m., in a match that doubles as Amherst’s home-opener, before taking on Bates at 4 p.m.