The women’s tennis team secured another home victory Saturday, March 5 against Kalamazoo College. Family, friends and even President Weinberg came to Mitchell Fieldhouse to support the women’s team, as they defeated Kalamazoo 7-2.
The Big Red dominated doubles play, winning all three matches. Number one doubles Lauren Hawley ’19 and Meg Chiumento ’16 defeated Kalamazoo opponents Sarah Woods and Sabrina Daas 8-3.
Number two doubles Courtney Brown ’18 and Emma Alsup ’19 defeated Maria Franco and Eloise Germic 8-2, and #3 Megan Hickey ’19 and Sarah Torrence ’16 defeated Sonal Bahl and Maya Srkalovic 8-2.
“One of our team’s biggest strengths is our doubles line-up,” explained Alsup. “We won two out of our three doubles matches last week versus the University of Chicago, and we won all three of our doubles matches versus Kalamazoo.”
Using the momentum from their doubles victories, the team won four out of their six singles matches against Kalamazoo.
“The doubles play that led to a 3-0 lead going into singles was huge,” said Coach Burling, the head coach of both the women’s and men’s tennis teams.
Hawley, Brown, Chiumento, Alsup, Hickey and Torrence all competed in singles matches. Chiumento, Alsup, Hickey and Torrence all crushed their opponents. Both Chiumento and Hickey won their singles matches 6-0, 6-1. Torrence won hers 6-1, 6-2, and Alsup won her singles match 6-0, 6-0.
“Lauren Hawley and Courtney Brown, #1 and #2 singles players respectively, lost heartbreakers in the third set,” Coach Burling said. Hawley and Brown put up a fight in their matches, and they were both defeated in their third set with a tiebreaker of 10-7.
Commenting on Kalamazoo’s singles lineup, Alsup explained, “Their singles line up was extremely strong at the top and played extremely close matches with our girls, but their line up became more inconsistent towards the bottom.”
While singles play posed a greater challenge for the Big Red, their performance was still strong; the singles matches Saturday were either decisive victories, or close tiebreakers.
“We are a stronger team overall this year with the addition of five strong freshmen players. Right now, three of them play #1, #4 and #5 singles and those three all play doubles as well,” explained Coach Burling. “They are really working at becoming a cohesive unit and it shows. Chemistry on a team is vital to success. They all push each other and the four senior captains [Chiumento, Coleman, Hinkamp, and Torrence] each have taken a different role in looking after each member.”
Between the experienced upperclassmen and talented freshmen, the women’s tennis team is quite a powerhouse this season with a current record of 4-2.
The team will be traveling to Puerto Rico for spring break next week, where they will challenge three Division I schools: University of North Carolina, Armstrong State University, and the Naval Academy.
“We are playing some really great teams over spring break and I think that experience will really help us when we come back,” Hawley said. When the team returns from Puerto Rico, they will be competing against Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio on Thursday, March 24 at 4:30 p.m.