During Saturday’s match against Colby (0-4), the players moved inside and outside as the rain came and went. “The change of venues was tough because it’s hard to get a rhythm going,” explained Erin Murphy ’05. “But we were flexible and able to adapt to the conditions.”
Rachel Holt ’05 continued her success in first singles, winning 6-2, 6-1. Tristan Hedrick ’05, Hadley Miller ’06 and Katie Hudson ’07 lost just one game each. The doubles team of captain Wallis Molchen ’04 and Kristen Raverta ’06 dominated, winning 8-0.
On Sunday morning the team returned to the momentarily dry courts to play against the Bowdoin Polar Bears (5-2). Both sunglasses and mittens were needed on Sunday, but that didn’t halt the tennis. The doubles teams went out first, creating a three-point lead as Hedrick and Holt, Murphy and Miller and Molchen and Raverta all won solidly.
Coach Jackie Bagwell praised her second doubles team, “Hadley and Erin do a great job of keeping each other confident and of adapting to different situations.”
Hedrick made clear that she has recovered from her early-season injury, winning second singles 6-2, 6-1. Her teammates didn’t have wins as quickly as those the day before, but all came out on top. Holt, Raverta and Miller all played a decisive two sets. Hudson’s match was tougher, but she pulled out a 7-5, 7-5 victory.
In fourth singles, Molchen had a long 6-4, 5-7, 10-0 victory over a formidable opponent that ended with a 10-point tiebreaker in lieu of a third set, due to the cold weather and the fact that Amherst had already clinched the match.
Molchen explained the significance of the Bowdoin victory, “They are a tough team just because they are stronger than some of the other teams we played and they seem to always want to beat us the most,” she said.
Tennis is both an individual sport as well as a team sport. The players support each other and challenge their teammates to do their best. This group truly exemplifies that combined individual/team mentality.
“I think our biggest strength right now is the fact everyone fights for every point and gives over 100 percent every match, whether or not [they] are playing [their] best,” said Molchen. “There’s no giving up … and if you know the rest of the team is giving their all, then it motivates you to give all you have as well.”
The long-anticipated match at Williams College will be this Friday, to be followed by the New England championships during Homecoming Weekend. The hardest part of the fall season is approaching, and the rival Ephs have a very strong tennis program. However, if anyone is up to the challenge it’s the Jeffs, and they’ll be ready on Friday.
“It’s a huge match, and if we continue working hard and staying positive, things should come together when we need them the most,” said Molchen. Murphy quoted her coach, “As Jackie would say, ‘It’s all about confidence.’ I think the team is up for the challenge.”