Archive for April 15th, 2010

15
Apr
10

Cats Smoke Conn College Camels

Last weekend both the men’s and women’s teams hosted the Connecticut College Camels. Even though the Camels are not ranked in the top of the conference, the matches would not be easy since the Cats hadn’t been sleeping much in the last week of the semester. Most of the members of the team had at least one test and one paper if not more due the week before the match against the Camels, not to mention final exams would follow the weekend matches. As every student athlete knows, this is one of the hardest times of their college career.  The women played Conn on Friday night and were forced inside due to rainy weather.

The Cats jumped on their opponents early, with Erika and Katie at #3 doubles leading the way. They overpowered their opponents and never let up, winning the match 8-0 by coming through on every big point. This took some of the pressure off of the #2 doubles team of Ashley and Nicole because they were down a break early in their match. They were able to finally break back and then hold for the lead. In the final game, Conn had been hitting great down the line shots when both Cats were at net, but on match point Ashley was there for the perfect volley right through the middle of the opposing players. Nicole and Ashley had just given Bates their second point and celebrated with a big high five before shaking hands with the Camels. It would then be up to the #1 team of Alex and Meg to give the Cats the commanding 3-0 lead heading into singles.

Alex and Meg had a lead for almost the whole match and had a chance to serve it out at 7-6 but their opponents played well enough to force the match to a tie-break. With the heartbreaking tie-break loss from the Bowdoin doubles match a few days earlier, the Cats weren’t about to let this one get away. Alex and Meg got an early lead in the breaker and then Alex served a couple of big serves to end the match.

Ashley led the way for the Cats in singles, dominating her opponent to get the tidy 6-3, 6-0 victory. Her win gave the Cats their fourth point, only needing one more for the win. That win would come from Katie at #3. Her first set was a close one with many games going to deuce. Eventually, Katie found herself in a tie-break, but no matter what her opponent did; Katie refused to lose and came out on top with the 7-4 win. In the second set, she really put on the pressure and won easily 6-0, clinching the 2nd conference win of the season. Even though the match was decided, Erika and Nicole showed their focus by taking it to their Camel foes. It can be easy to let down the intensity once the match has been decided, but there was none of that at the #5 and #6 positions for the Cats on Friday night.

The Cats could have made this match much tougher if they had not won the big points and not kept their intensity on every point, but they showed how quickly they are maturing with this win. Senior day for the women will be this Sunday against Hamilton as we have a chance to thank Alex and Jean for all they have done for the program over the last four years. Then the women, along with the men will head south on the April break trip to play TCNJ, Trinity, and Wesleyan.

After the women won on Friday night, the men knew it was their turn to complete the sweep on Saturday afternoon against the Connecticut College Camels. The doubles pair of Rob and Zach never gave their opponents a chance at #3 doubles as they won in under 30 minutes by a score of 8-0. Amrit and Bettles, at #1, came out firing and won by the same score. So with the Cats up 2-0, the drama once again came from the #2 doubles team of Max and Jeff. Playing against two very athletic, tall players, Max and Jeff found themselves locked at 6-6 returning serve. As the game went back and forth from deuce to add and back to deuce again, everyone knew how important this game was. When the Camels had a game point, Jeff was able to barely dig a short ball back over the net and then two volleys later Max hit an unbelievable overhead right through the two opposing players. The Bates pair used that momentum to get the break two points later and take the 7-6 lead. They would then hold serve to give the Cats a 3-0 lead as the teams entered the singles play.

In the singles, no Cats had any real problems. Amrit, as usual, played very entertaining tennis full of great shot making and athletic volleys. Max, with his steady game, wore down his opponent until he finished with a 6-1, 6-1 win. Bettles won his 6th singles match in a row with his win at #3. Reiss was all business and used his attacking game to get an easy win. Rob, at #5, used his big serve to hold serve every game in route to a 6-1, 6-2 victory. Fenno finished off a perfect day with a win at the #6 spot. Dylan also joined in on the winning as he won an exhibition match.

It was a good couple of days for the Cats with both teams winning. As I said earlier, the men will play against Hamilton at home on Sunday, and then head south with the women to play three matches over April break. The men’s last home match and senior day will be against Tufts on May 2nd. Be sure to check back here to see how the April break matches turn out.

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