Facing a difficult schedule, the Jeffs returned to Amherst from Claremont, Ca., with a 2-2 record.
In their first match the Jeffs received a harsh wake-up-call, as they were whitewashed by Emory University. Emory, the number-two team in the country, swept all nine singles and doubles matches in a day that the Jeffs would like to forget.
“The loss to Emory was tough; they are a very strong team,” said Rachel Holt ’05. “But now we have an idea of how they play and what we will have to do to beat them at nationals.”
In their next match the Jeffs faced a difficult uphill struggle, as they dropped all three doubles matches to the sixth-ranked Pomona-Pitzer team.
But after falling behind the Jeffs stormed back to sweep the six singles matches. “After having a rough start, the highlight of the trip was winning the six singles matches,” said Wallis Molchen ’04. “That gave us a lot of confidence for the rest for the week.”
In their next match the Jeffs took on California State Fullerton, a Div. I opponent. In Div. I play, the three doubles matches are worth a single point, as opposed to three points in Div. III play. For the third straight match the Jeffs had trouble in doubles play, losing two of three matches, which meant that the Titans took home the single doubles point.
“Our doubles play was weaker than usual,” said Holt. “As the week went on it got better, but we still need to improve on it.”
In singles play, the Jeffs held their own. Tristan Hedrick ’05, Erin Murphy ’05 and Wallis Molchen ’04 all came away with singles victories for the Jeffs, splitting the six contests, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the match as the Jeffs fell 4-3.
In their final match of the week the Jeffs took down another top-10 opponent, this time eighth-ranked Claremont McKenna College. This was the Jeffs’ easiest match of the week, as they trounced the Athenas 8-1.
In addition to battling difficult competition all week, the Jeffs were undermanned as Kristen Raverta ’06 had to sit the week out due to illness. Raverta is the Jeffs’ top singles player, and is also on the second doubles team. To make up for this loss every singles player moved up a slot on the ladder and co-captain Roopali Agarwal ’03 stepped into the second doubles team.
After their busy start, the Jeffs do not have another match until April 12, when they take on Middlebury College at home. That match is the beginning of a difficult two-week stretch of play where the Jeffs take on Tufts University, compete in the NESCAC Championships, and battle Williams College.