Women's tennis crushes a pair of NESCAC Vacationland foes
First thing Sunday morning the Jeffs took two of three doubles matches from the visiting Polar Bears. Sophomore Alicia Menezes and senior tri-captain Kristen Raverta, who combined to win the ITA New England doubles tournament the previous weekend, paired for an 8-2 victory at first doubles.
Senior tri-captain Hadley Miller teamed with sophomore Laura Stein for an 8-4 third doubles win. Sophomore Monica Snyder’s regular doubles partner, junior Katie Hudson, is out with an injury, so she was paired with sophomore Jenny Murphy in the second doubles position, but the two fell to Bowdoin’s Kristen Raymond and Kristina Sisk, 8-6.
Amherst posted six singles wins to follow the two doubles victories. Raverta won first singles in a tiebreak, 3-6, 6-4, 10-4. Snyder took second singles by a score of 6-2, 6-3 and Menezes won at number three, 6-4, 6-4. Murphy was victorious, 6-3, 6-4, as she filled Hudson’s fourth singles position. Miller and Stein each had easy victories in fifth and sixth singles, respectively, scoring 6-2, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-0.
The Jeffs returned to action just a few hours later to take every set against the visiting White Mules. Menezes and Raverta won first doubles, 8-6. Murphy and Snyder won second doubles by a decisive 8-1, and Miller and Stein won every game to earn an 8-0 third doubles victory.
All six doubles matches were decided in straight sets. Raverta won first singles, 6-3, 6-4, while Snyder won second, 6-1, 6-0. Menezes took third singles, 6-0, 6-1, and Murphy took fourth 6-2, 6-0. Miller, who won every game she played against Colby, dominated fifth singles, 6-0, 6-0. Stein took sixth singles, 6-0, 6-1.
“[Sunday] was a great day. Not only was the weather perfect, but everyone played really well,” said senior tri-captain Miranda Kim. “Although it was a long day since we had a doubleheader, we stayed focused and were able to come out on top.”
The wins were not a foregone conclusion. “These teams were both gunning for us, so it was very important to be patient and play smart tennis. It’s been a while since our last team match, so it was great to see us all working as a unit,” said Miller. “Everybody got the job done, twice over.”
“We tried to force ourselves to hit one more shot, as opposed to going for a winner right away,” added Stein. “We were all given things to work on during our matches and showed the kind of discipline we want to have as we get ready for the peak of the fall season.”
When the match against visiting UMass was called because of darkness, the tie score indicated the talent of the Jeffs, even against a strong Div. I opponent. Menezes won her singles match in straight sets, and Miller and Stein had a third doubles victory.
“Against UMass, I thought everyone played well.We fought for every point and game,” said Raverta. “When UMass played Middlebury [College], none of the matches were close, and Middlebury is one of our toughest NESCAC opponents. It also helped that we had a huge fan base come out for support and cheering to motivate us on.”
Amherst, now 3-0, will return to action on Saturday at Williams College. With just Williams, the completion of the UMass match and New England Championships remaining this fall, the women hope to end the season on a high note, and they have a sense of what to do to achieve that goal. “I think that we need to keep dictating points and closing it out when we get our opportunities,” said Miller.
The team is also working on building ability and confidence in their three new doubles combinations, which are important because doubles play first.
“We need to use the momentum and confidence we are building with the disciplined tennis we are currently playing,” said Stein. “As long as we continue to train with the same purpose and intensity that we have so far, we should be where we want to be to play our best against Williams and at New Englands.”