Women's tennis: Women end successful fall with third-place finish at NEWITT

The women competed in six singles and three doubles flights at the New England regional tournament. Quad-captain Rachel Holt ’05 and Alicia Menezes ’08 were in Florida for the ITA National Championships, so everyone stepped up two brackets.

Senior quad-captain Erin Murphy won the number-four flight, where she was seeded fourth. After two dominant 6-0, 6-0 wins, she fought to a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 victory in the semifinals against the second seed. Murphy then won the finals 6-2, 7-6 (3).

Monica Snyder ’08, seeded third in the number-five flight, defeated opponents from NESCAC powers Tufts and Middlebury to earn her title. She beat Jumbo Lani Ackerman 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals and then toppled Panther Lauren Ready with the same score.

At third singles, Laura Stein ’08 upset the third seed 6-1, 6-0 before being stopped in the finals by top-seeded Amanda Berck of Middlebury, 1-6, 1-6.

Murphy and Stein, seeded second at second doubles, were upended 2-8 in the semifinals by the eventual champions.

Quad-captain Tristan Hedrick ’05 and Hadley Miller ’06 also advanced to the semifinals playing at third doubles and were happy just to compete. Both had been out with injuries since August. “It felt really great to play again and be an active part of the team,” said Miller. “Everyone really stepped it up and showed a lot of heart and grit.”

Added Murphy, “This weekend was a huge team effort, since we were split up to two sites due to bad weather. We relied on each other for support.”

Amherst concluded its dual-match slate on Oct. 9, playing host to a Williams College team that has been depleted by graduation this season. The Jeffs wanted to sweep the Ephs but nonetheless entered into the contest with humility.

“Going into the match, we wanted to show Williams our strength throughout the entire lineup. We knew that they would be just as motivated to beat us as we were to beat them, so we had to focus and make smart decisions on the court,” said Stein.

Holt and Menezes took first doubles, 8-5. Kristen Raverta ’06 and Katie Hudson ’07 won second doubles 8-3, and Murphy and Stein completed the doubles sweep without dropping a game.

Amherst carried that momentum into the singles matches to win all six flights in straight sets for a stunning sweep.

“It was a perfect way to end our fall dual match season,” said Holt. “Even though it wasn’t the same type of Williams team we were are used to facing, it’s still Williams and sweeping them is always sweet.”

Despite her recent initiation into the purple and white, Stein expressed similar sentiments. “It was something that we had looked forward to as a team all season but it was my first taste of how motivating the Amherst-Williams rivalry is.”