Tennis falls short in bid for NEWMAC title
Team ends fall season with 8-3 record
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 09:10
It was an unfortunately familiar feeling for some of the veteran tennis players as they walked off the court after losing the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship to MIT on Oct. 28. Before winning the title last year, the Blue lost the prior two conference tournaments to Wheaton.
The result this time was a swift, 5-0 decision. Wellesley lost three tight doubles matches and two singles matches before they were able to get on the board.
In doubles, Diana Granger ’14 and Sojung Lee ’15 fell 8-6 to the top MIT duo. Erica Choo ’14 and Joyce Chen ’15 lost a heartbreaker, 9-8, at the second spot. Veronica Lin ’15 and Suzanne Barth ’16 dropped an 8-5 decision at the third position.
Wellesley had switched up the team’s doubles lineup since last facing MIT, and they were more competitive this time.
In singles, Granger lost at the top spot and Barth fell at fourth. With this, MIT clinched the tournament, so the other matches were stopped.
“It was a really tough match. All the doubles matches were close and everyone was playing well, but MIT really brought it,” Granger said. “I’ve enjoyed being able to compete in the NEWMAC tournament finals for all three of my years at Wellesley.”
Wellesley’s appearance in the NEWMAC finals marked its ninth-straight. For a team that lost two of its top three players coming into this season and has struggled with injuries all year, Wellesley showed remarkable consistency. Kendall Tada ’14 was in the starting lineup last year but was sidelined all fall. Catherine Matulis ’14 had to sit out of the championship match due to an injury.
In contrast, MIT lost one player to graduation but picked up a number of nationally ranked recruits. Their lineup is much stronger this year, with their second singles player from last year moving down to fifth for this season.
Wellesley moved to 8-3 with the loss and finished as the runner-up team in the NEWMAC conference.
The Blue downed Babson 5-2 in the semifinals on Oct. 27 after all three doubles teams won, and Lee and Barth pulled out singles wins. MIT beat Wheaton to earn the other spot in the finals.
The Blue took home a number of All-Conference honors. Third singles player Lee was the sole Wellesley player to make the first All-Conference team. She and Granger also made the second All-Conference team for doubles, along with Choo and Chen. Fourth singles player Matulis made the second team for singles.
The team will be back in action on March 30, when they take on Tufts to open their spring season. By winning the conference title, MIT earned an automatic berth into the NCAA regional tournament for the fall. Wellesley will have to play well in the spring to qualify for the national tournament.