Holt leads tennis team to solid showing at ITA

The star performer for Amherst this weekend was junior Rachel Holt. Holt, who was the event’s defending champion, made her way through a very challenging draw before finally succumbing to top-seed Diana Goldman of Trinity College, 3-6, 6-1 (10-3). Holt’s match against Goldman came a mere 45 minutes after Holt emerged victorious from a grueling three-hour match against Holt’s rival from Williams College, Stephanie Hall. Hall defeated Tristan Hedrick ’05 in the quarterfinals and had beaten Holt in their previous two showdowns, so there was much at stake as the two faced off in the semifinals. Holt finally beat Hall by a 6-4, 6-7 (10-4) margin, but was unable to leave much in the tank for Goldman. “Unfortunately,” said Coach Jackie Bagwell, “[Holt] was on the very strong side of the draw and had to completely exhaust herself to get to the finals.”

Captain Wallis Molchen ’04 was defeated in the first round 6-4, 6-2. Hadley Miller ’06 was also defeated, by fourth seed Jane Chae of Brandeis University, 6-1, 7-5, in a tiebreaker.

Amherst had success in the doubles draw. The doubles teams of Holt and Hedrick and Miller and Erin Murphy ’05 both made the semifinals, but both tandems were unable to move past their respective Williams opposition. The second-seeded team of Holt and Hedrick lost to the tournament’s champions, Julie Mallory and Courtney Bartlett, 8-3. Holt and Hedrick struggled with the different style required by the slower courts. “It certainly made very clear to us exactly what we need to work on,” said Holt, who added that she thought the outcome should have been different.

The unseeded pairing of Miller and Murphy dropped a heartbreaking 9-8 decision to the top-seeded Williams team of Hall and Kate Troy.

The Jeffs have three home matches next week. They play the College of the Holy Cross today at 3:30 p.m., Bowdoin College Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Colby College Sunday at 9:30 a.m.