Women play #5 Tufts

Last Wednesday the women went to Tufts to take on the #5 Jumbos. At #1 Meg and Jacqui broke in the first game to give them an early lead but the Jumbo pairing broke back to even things up. Their match would have many long deuce games but in the end things fell the Jumbos way. At #2 Nicole and Ashley had a very exciting back and forth match. They were down early before Nicole started things off hitting back to back winners off returns. Ashley then ripped a few down the middle and evened things up at 3-3. The very next game Ashley ran back to chase a lob and rolled her ankle in a divot in the back of the court. After a couple of minutes with the trainer and adding an ankle brace, Ashley was determined to play through the pain. Both teams continued to break serve until Ashley served up a solid game to put the cats up. A couple of games later the bobcats had clawed their way to 7-6 40-15. Unfortunately the Jumbos scrapped together two great points and never gave the cats another opportunity to break as they won it 9-7. At #3 Erika and Kristen played yet another tough long match but this time found themselves on the short end 8-4.

In singles the bobcats would get swept but in my opinion it was the best singles we played all year top to bottom. Jacqui played the defending national champion and played her dead even in most games but just didn’t score well. In Erika’s #3 match she played a great first set and gutted out a 7-6 (7-5) tie-breaker. The second set was just as long and though she scrapped for everything she came up short 7-5. The third set tie-breaker was very high level tennis, with both players refusing to back down and gunning for points. In the end she lost this three-hour match 10-7 but she fought on every ball and it was really a proud moment for us as coaches to see how her game has grown over the year.

At #4 Ashley’s ankle had just about enough tennis for the day and though she tried her best, she just couldn’t move. She gutted it out for the entire match and did her best for her teammates, but the Jumbo player was too much today. At #5 Nicole played in seemingly endless points. Both players hit heavy, deep, and consistent for the entirety of the match, refusing to miss in this battle of wills. She had great focus against her very steady opponent and the match was decided by a break in each set 6-4 6-3.

At #6 Kristen reached a new level of play today. Not only did she strike the ball the best she has all year, but she did so consistently and with great footwork. In all, she was playing with the whole package. However, her opponent Edwina Stewart from England is no slouch. Kristen started down 3-0 before fighting back to even things up and even pushed herself into the lead. she was up 5-4 and had a set point but it eluded her this time and she dropped the first set 7-5. In the second they played so long that the lights had to be turned on. Like all the other matches it was a very high level of play, and like the others, Kristen came up just short.

In my opinion today was a very successful day. Yes it would have been better if we had won, but you learn a lot more in losses than in wins. Today we learned that we can play with anyone. Tufts has the chance to win nationals this year and we gave them all we could handle and the girls really believed they could do it. This team has grown a lot over the year and though we didn’t have the result we hoped for (a team win) we are getting there and it is only a matter of time.


May 2011
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