Williams overpowers Wellesley, deals Blue first loss of the season
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 18:09
Blue Tennis fell to Williams 9-0 on Sunday, Sept. 23, in a hard-fought home contest. Williams has won five straight NCAA national titles, and Wellesley posed a threat in a number of individual matches.
In doubles play, Diana Granger ’14 and Sojung Lee ’15 got off to a strong start, taking the first game. Williams won five of the next six games, before the Blue got back into the match. Williams was up 6-4 and Wellesley had a game point when a long rally ensued. Both teams had offensive chances and made great defensive saves, but ultimately Williams took the point. After two Wellesley double faults, Williams went up 7-4. The following game was tight, but Williams went on to win the match 8-4.
If a few points had gone the other way, the Blue might have been able to take this match. All of the games were close, and proved that Wellesley’s top duo could contend with some of the best pairs in the country.
“Wellesley put up a good front against a really tough opponent. We came out and gave it our all, something that doesn’t show in the scorecards,” Abby Esrock ’16 said.
In other doubles action, the second doubles pairing of Catherine Matulis ’14 and Suzanne Barth ’16 were the first off the court in an 8-0 defeat. Erica Choo ’14 and Joyce Chen ’15 finished at third doubles just a few minutes later, falling 8-1. Both teams played aggressive tennis and hit hard shots, but they were overpowered by the consistency of the Ephs.
In singles competition, Choo fell to Kara Shoemaker 6-0, 6-1 and Granger lost in a tough 6-3 6-1 match to Nancy Worley. Both Shoemaker and Worley are nationally ranked and have given Wellesley trouble in the past.
Lee posted a 6-1 6-2 score in her loss to Rebecca Curran. Matulis dropped a 6-1 6-1 match to Maria Pylypiv. Barth and Chen were also unable to get the Blue a win.
Williams currently stands as the top team in the country and will look to defend its national title again this spring. The Ephs dealt the Blue its first loss of the season, but Wellesley’s players recognized their opponents’ strength and seemed undeterred by the defeat.
“Williams is a tough team, so we knew we had to come out and play our game. I think the team was looking really tough but also having fun,” Captain Elena Bowen ’13 said.
With an 8-1 victory against Clark on Saturday, Sept. 22, Wellesley now stands at 3-1. The Blue are 3-0 against New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opponents.
Several Wellesley players are nursing injuries and illnesses. But with a full squad soon, the team should be able to stay a regional power. Wellesley Tennis will have a chance at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional tournament this weekend, which will give the top Wellesley players a chance to compete against other strong players from the northeast in individual action.
After a strong showing against Williams, look for Granger and Lee to go far in the doubles draw.