By Will Hamburger

Staff Writer

The Big Red women’s tennis team will look to gain peak form as the season enters conference play.

The team spent spring break in Claremont, Calif., where the women started off with a tough loss to #17 Tufts (5-4) but rounded out the trip with victories against both Salisbury, 9-1, and #21 Trinity (8-1).

Denison’s first conference match was a 9-0 win against Ohio Wesleyan, which was followed by a 7-2 loss on Friday to a streaking #22 Hope College team.

Overall the trip over spring break was a success for the Big Red, with the women winning two games along with gaining valuable team experience, which could pay off down the stretch.

Taylor Hawkins ‘16 takes a swing during the tennis match.

Taylor Hawkins ‘16 takes a swing during the tennis match.

Team leader Taylor Hawkins ‘16 reflects on this type of experience, “By playing teams that are ‘better’ than us on paper, we are the ones who have no pressure on winning,” she said. “This allows the team to focus on their game and just have fun with it. Like our coach always says, you always play better when you’re having fun.”

The team is now entering conference play, which started off with a decisive 9-0 win against Ohio Wesleyan.

The Big Red started off with a 3-0 sweep of doubles play and did not look back afterwards. Some freshmen were able to gain some valuable experience as well, with Maddie Boster ‘18 and Carol Vitellas ‘18 taking wins in singles.

Unfortunately, Denison was unable to continue the streak against a challenging #22 Hope College. The Flying Dutch extended their nine game winning streak as costly errors ended up hurting the Big Red down the stretch.

Denison looked to regain its stride against Wooster on Monday and the team will play Kenyon today. Results for the Monday match were not available at press time.

Maintaining energy levels in this long season will be key for Denison as the season drags on.

Rochell Issa ‘18 wants “To make sure that we are playing each point like it is match point. By doing this, we will be able to minimize our errors and be more efficient about the amount of time we spend on the court. We don’t want to spend any more time on the court than we have to.”

The season is now in full swing with the Big Red standing at 1-0 in conference play and 6-3 overall.

Photos Courtesy of Owen Smith