Women’s Tennis Performs Well at Individual MIT Invitational
Issue   |   Tue, 09/19/2017 - 22:18
Clarus Studios
Jen Chen ‘20 made it to the finals of the consolation bracket for doubles.

The Amherst women’s tennis team served up quite the 2017-2018 season debut this past weekend at the MIT Invitational, held at duPont Tennis Courts and J.B. Carr Tennis Bubble. After its abrupt and unanticipated elimination from the first round of the NESCAC tournament and the second round of the national tournament last year, the team will no doubt look forward to this season. With head coach Jackie Bagwell entering her 27th season this fall, the team entered the MIT Invitational with nine individuals for the singles match and four teams for doubles.

Camille Smukler ’20 led a series of impressive performances. This past weekend, she successfully fought her way through the first round of singles against Kat Wiley of Tufts, 6-1, 6-0, and the second round versus Wesleyan’s Zoe Klass-Warc, 6-1, 6-2. In the third round, Smukler then defeated Wesleyan’s Alissa Nakamota, 6-2, 6-1, to advance to the finals. Facing MIT’s Libby Rickeman, she fell in two sets, finishing the invitational as runner-up.

Camilla Trapness ’19, while unseeded in this invitational, surprised a number of higher ranked opponents. She battled through the first round after dropping her first set against MIT’s Marina Zhan, 1-6, 6-2, 10-6, and her second round opponent before ultimately falling in the third round to Wesleyan’s Alissa Nakamoto, 6-2, 6-1.

Despite sophomore Anya Ivenitsky and senior Avery Wagman’s individual losses in the first round of the singles tournament, both athletes returned to win the first and second round of doubles against Wesleyan’s Klass-Warch and Kiseleva, 8-6, and MIT’s Das and Rickeman, 8-1, before bowing out in the semifinals.

Meanwhile Amherst’s dynamic doubles duo of Vickie Ip ’18 and Kelsey Chen ’19 made a run to finals, finishing as runners-up. Initially, the pair defeated Wesleyan’s Alvarez/Kim, 8-4, in the first and MIT’s Tzeng/Guenther, 9-7, in the second.

Seeded as the No. 3 team overall, Ip and Chen continued their winning streak by beating the second seeded team from Tufts, Louks and Popa, 8-4. The Amherst duo then fell in a hard-fought match to No. 1 seed Chong and Yu (Wesleyan).

The Mammoths look to continue their strong play on Saturday when they face longtime rival Williams in the two teams’ traditional fall matchup. The tilt will follow the NCAA Division III team format, with six singles matches and three doubles matches.