Women’s tennis shuts out UMass
By Jack Barrett, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, March 5, 2010
The Dartmouth women’s tennis team swept the University of Massachusetts 7-0 on Wednesday at the Boss Tennis Center to move up to 37th in the national rankings — its highest position in the program’s history.
The win concluded the Winter portion of the season for the Big Green (10-1, 0-0 Ivy), which has won three straight dual matches.
Over the weekend, Dartmouth beat the University of Southern New Hampshire and Quinnipiac University 7-0 and 8-0, respectively.
The Big Green has not dropped any individual matches during its current winning streak.
Although Dartmouth has yet to move into the bulk of its most competitive scheduled matches, including the upcoming Ivy League season, the team will not overlook any opponents, co-captain Jesse Adler ’10 said.
“UMass is always a tough team to play,” she said. “They are well coached, compete hard and are all pretty physical players, so we definitely didn’t want to be taking them lightly. I think everyone did a really good job of that, which is why the score made it seem easy, but in reality they were all pretty solid, tough opponents.”
The team’s high ranking was a pleasant surprise, Adler added.
“I kind of didn’t believe it when I first saw it,” she said. “Not because I didn’t think we were that good, but just because it seems so high. We are that good though, and I think we will all use [the ranking] as motivation to prove to other people how much better we can get.”
Against UMass, Dartmouth was buoyed by strong performances throughout the lineup. Five of the six singles matches were decided in straight sets.
The Big Green also swept the doubles portion of the dual match.
The top doubles combination of Molly Scott ’11 and Mary Beth Winingham ’10 had little trouble with the Minutemen’s tandem of Magdalena Ploch and Kaitlyn Carpenter, defeating them 8-2.
Carissa King ’12 and Sarah Leonard ’13 dropped only one game in their match.
Adler and Georgiana Smyser ’11 completed the round with an 8-5 triumph over Jocelyn Providence and Tanisha Hodgson.
“King is playing great doubles, which is exciting since winning the doubles point is huge for us, particularly when we start playing tougher teams,” Adler said.
Over the past few matches, Dartmouth has been able to mix up its roster, using all 13 players in the singles and doubles slots.
“It lets everyone see live competition and practice under that type of pressure,” Adler said. “I think everyone has been playing really well, and it’s great to see all three of our freshmen step up and compete hard. They have all improved a ton since the Fall.”
In singles, the most impressive win of the day came at the hands of Winingham, who defeated the ITA Northeast Region’s No. 10 player, Ploch.
Earlier in the year, Ploch defeated both Yale No. 1 Stephanie Kent and Harvard No. 2 Hideko Tachibana.
“I had to stay focused the whole time, because [Ploch is] a fairly consistent player who doesn’t give up,” Winingham said. “Moving her around and using my slice were effective, as she struggled to get a rhythm or the hard ball that she wanted.”
Winingham’s victory marked an impressive singles performance for the Big Green.
Both Adler and Smyser followed suit with maching 6-2, 6-2 drubbings of Candynce Boney and Maude Lecluyse at the two and three spots, respectively.
Sisters Ryan Reichel ’11 and Jeri Reichel ’13 notched victories at four and six, respectively, while Christina Danosi ’13 beat Hodgson, 7-5, 6-3.
When asked about the Big Green’s mindset during the current stretch of play, Adler was unwavering.
“We really focus on going out there and playing each opponent the same,” she said. “And beating them as badly as we can.”
With the conclusion of the Winter season, Dartmouth will focus its attention on its annual spring training trip in California, where the team will face the likes of Utah State University and the University of California at Santa Barbara.
“The teams we will see in California will be tough and good practice for when we come back and start playing the other Ivies right away,” Adler said. “They get to play outside all year, and even though this has been the tamest Winter I’ve ever seen, we’re still inside. So that’s a little bit of an adjustment every year for us that puts us at a little bit of a disadvantage the first few days.”
Winingham agreed, saying that the team will be challenged by the California competition.
“Our spring break trip is going to be some tough matches,” Winingham said. “This Winter, we’ve had a few annihilations, but it won’t be like that. It’ll be a good test for us. We’ll need to compete hard.”
From April 2-21, the Big Green will play all of its conference matches.
“The Ivy League as a whole this year is probably the strongest it’s been in my time here,” Adler said. “It’s exciting, because those are the type of matches we work the hardest for, the close ones where it can go either way and each time just puts it all out there.”
Dartmouth will attempt to continue its strong play and maintain its stride when the squad returns to action on March 19 against Utah State in San Luis Obispo, Calif.