“Brandeis and Bates were good matches to start off our season here in the Northeast, in that they weren’t too tough, but made us play,” said Hadley Miller ’06.
For the first match of the day, the Jeffs faced the Brandeis Judges, who are ranked 25th nationally and seventh in the Northeast. Tristan Hedrick ’05 led the team in the first singles position, pulling out a tough win in an extremely close match, 5-7, 6-4 in a 10-4 tiebreaker. Kristen Raverta ’06 won second singles in another hard-fought match, 6-4, 6-4. Rachel Holt ’05 cruised to an easy victory at the third singles position, winning 6-0, 6-2. Captain Wallis Molchen ’04 emerged victorious at the fourth spot 6-4, 7-5, followed by Katie Hudson ’07’s win in the fifth slot 6-3, 6-0. Erin Murphy ’05 rounded out the singles ladder at the sixth singles spot. Murphy played a stellar match, shutting out her opponent for a clean 6-0, 6-0 victory.
On the doubles end of the court, Hedrick and Holt played skillfully and aggressively to win 8-2 at first doubles.
Raverta and Molchen did likewise in second doubles, winning 8-1. Murphy and Miller rounded out the perfect match with their 8-2 victory at third doubles.
The Jeffs returned to the courts just a few hours later to play their first NESCAC competition of the season in the form of the Bates Bobcats. The Brandeis match appeared to have fired up the Jeffs as they handily defeated the Bobcats. Hedrick and Holt repeated at first and third singles, winning 6-0, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-1, respectively. Raverta won second singles without dropping a game.
The rest of the singles ladder had similar success. Though Miller had opted out of playing singles against Brandeis due to a strained wrist, she returned to the number four spot in the afternoon and showed no signs of injury as she cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win. Molchen was victorious at number five 6-1, 6-4, while Hudson took the number six position in a 6-0, 6-2 victory.
Holt and Hedrick posted a victory in the first doubles match 8-0. Molchen and Raverta and third pair Miller and Murphy came out on the winning end of 8-1 matches.
“It was pretty big for us to come out and beat two teams in the same day. It shows we’re really tough through the lineup,” said Caitlin Rhodes ’07.
The Jeffs demonstrated again why they are ranked 11th nationally and fourth in the Northeast region and have a number of nationally ranked individuals players. Raverta was ranked 14th nationally last spring and second in the Northeast. Holt was 15th nationally and was third in the region, while Hedrick was 32nd nationally and finished the fall season 10th in the final Northeast ITA rankings.
The Jeffs now look forward to some tougher matchups beginning on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. against defending Div. III champion Emory University.
“Emory is ranked number one in the nation and they have the number one and two singles players on their team too, so needless to say, they’re going to be really tough,” said Miller.
Amherst will compete again on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Middlebury College, a team that is ranked sixth nationally and second in the Northeast. On Tuesday the Jeffs will play against the visiting Tufts University Jumbos, who are ranked third nationally and first regionally.
These next few matches will demonstrate just how strong a team the Jeffs are. “Middlebury and Tufts [are] probably much more important because they’re in our region and they’re highly ranked. Basically, we really want to win those two. If we do, it will set us up a lot better going into NESCACs and NCAAs,” said Miller.