Shannon’s win over Bobcat opponent Liza Roberts highlighted the match. Amherst had already acquired five losses, and a team loss was certain, but Shannon didn’t let that knowledge sway her confidence. Though she lost her first two games by considerable margins, she rallied her strength, winning the next three in a row, giving her a rarely seen five-game victory. “I changed my game to play to her weakness, and that is what won me the match,” she said.
Teammate Harmeling agrees. “[Shannon’s] comeback was admirable and gave us hope going into the Howe Cup, where we will meet Bates again.”
Bates, currently ranked ninth in the nation, proved a worthy opponent, but the 10th-ranked Jeffs are hardly discouraged by the prospect of meeting the Bobcats in the postseason. “Bates is extremely strong from the middle of their line-up down, so it will be up to the top of the ladder to pull through again next time we see them and the bottom to fight as hard as they can to beat their opponent. It is possible for us to defeat Bates,” said Martin.
Earlier that morning, Amherst defeated Bowdoin College by a score of 7-2. “We pulled out one additional win and a few more points against Bowdoin this time around, which shows that we have improved since our first weekend at the Williams Invitational,” said Martin.
The Bowdoin victory came after a tough match Feb. 4 against Yale University, currently ranked first in the nation. Despite a 9-0 loss, Amherst was pleased with its players’ individual performances. “We have to remember that playing opponents of higher levels … helps us to see a level that we can actually aspire to if we put enough effort into our training and our game,” said Martin.
The team is especially proud of Harmeling’s performance against 12th ranked Bowdoin opponent Frances Ho. Though eventually falling to her after four games, Harmeling’s single victory is a feat to be admired. “I ended up winning a game � by waiting for her to make a mistake, and she made many eventually,” said Harmeling. “To win a game off of her was a huge accomplishment for me,” she said.
Last night, Amherst defeated Mt. Holyoke College by a score of 9-0. The team is eagerly preparing for the upcoming Howe Cup with increased conditioning and an intense mental attitude. “Bates, like Cornell, will be the team for us to beat in [the] Howe Cup. We are extremely close to them both in skill and I think that our matches against them are an ‘Any Given Sunday’ routine. After all, I don’t think that we want another school to bring home our flight’s trophy. It can be ours,” said Martin.