After suffering from an 8-1 loss on Feb. 12 to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the women’s tennis team came back strong at their Feb. 21 home match. Reversing their previous score, the Big Red defeated Oberlin College 8-1.
Setting the tone for a home win early, the Big Red won all three doubles matches within an hour.
“Denison has not always been a doubles team, but we have been working very hard and it definitely showed today,” said Meg Chiumento ’16 from Malvern, Pa.
Playing at No. 1 doubles, Chiumento and Lauren Hawley ’19 secured an 8-3 victory. Likewise, No. 2 doubles, Courtney Brown ’18 and Emma Alsup ’19 won 8-1. No. 3 doubles, Sarah Torrence ’16 and Megan Hickey ’19 won 8-3.
“Our team is a strong singles team, but sometimes has a hard time with doubles,” said Torrence from Rockford, Ill. “It was really nice to see all three doubles teams with a strong win to start off the match, making it much easier to ease into singles.”
Using the momentum from their doubles victories, the Big Red also performed well in singles play, winning five of their six singles matches against Oberlin. Brown and Hickey each boasted a 6-0 set; both of Chiumento’s sets were 6-0.
“This match in particular was important for us as we went 1-1 with Oberlin last year” said Brown from Dublin, Ohio. “I also think winning with such a big margin and sweeping the doubles courts speaks to the depth of this team.”
With a roster of twelve, the team has almost an equal number of new and seasoned college athletes who have all contributed to this depth. Three of the five new freshmen appeared in doubles and singles play.
The Big Red will not play Oberlin again until the NCAC tournament in April. Securing an early win brought the team confidence, especially in terms of conference play.
“Oberlin has been a tough team in the past and Denison being picked to win the NCAC means that we have a target on us and have to fight that much harder,” Chiumento said. “Our team is closer and stronger as ever and I predict very big things this season moving forward.”
Overall, Sunday’s match against Oberlin proved to be an excellent first home match. “Everyone stepped up and took care of their courts,” said Frances Hinkamp ’16 from Kenilworth, Ill. “This was our first home match of the season and I’m really excited for what is to come this season.”
After beating Oberlin, the Big Red women’s tennis team now has a record of 3-1. The Big Red will be competing Saturday, Feb. 27 against the University of Chicago in Indianapolis, Ind.