Women’s Match against #23 MIT

This time last year the Bobcats made the trip to MIT for a 9-0 team loss and only 2 Bobcats won 6 or more games in their singles matches. On paper this year’s match should have been similar. On paper, MIT brought in the nations #7 recruiting class and boasts a line-up with 15 stars (according to tennisrecruiting) compared to the Bobcats 3. Luckily matches are not played on paper and this years Bobcats team is something special. Coming off a big win over Babson the Bobcats had the energy and confidence needed to hang with a team of this caliber.

Play started off with doubles and it was 8-4s across the board. We fought well at every spot and the team did a great job cheering for each other and staying positive. The amount of work dedicated in practice to doubles paid off as the girls executed to take #1 and #3 for the 2-1 lead.

Playing indoors on the four Merrill courts, the singles was intense from the start. At #1 MIT claimed the first set 6-0 as Lauren Quisenberry put on a dominating display with her forehand, hitting winners from all over the court. At #2 Meg also dropped the first set in a long 6-3 set. At #3 Jacqui also dropped her first set in a 90 minute 6-4 grind. At #4 Erika kept the Bobcats in it by taking her first set 6-3 after a slow start.

The Bobcats do not quit. They play with heart, till the end, and for each other. At #1 Elena was down 6-0 4-0 in what was almost MIT’s second point. At this point she dug in, she scrapped for every ball, and out gritted her opponent, point by point, game by game. 30 minutes later Elena had fought off 2 match points and had pushed the match to a tie-breaker. The first year was clutch and gutted out the set 7-6 7-4. The third set was all Elena as she worked for everything and ran every ball down for the 6-1 third set win over the All-American.

As Ellie was making her comeback Meg and Jacqui were doing the same thing at #2 and #3. At #2 Meg put on a great display of senior leadership. She stuck with her game plan to attack the net and out willed her opponent in the second set where she also fought off match points and won it in a tie-breaker 7-4. At #3 Jacqui used her speed and consistency to fight her way back into the match. She ran every ball down and refused to miss, remaining more steady and putting in more work than her opponent would for the 6-3 second set. At #4 Erika beared down and refused to give her opponent and wiggle room. The senior kept her foot on the gas and gutted out all of the big points to make it a 4-1 Bates match with a 6-3 7-5 win.

At this point all matches were on as #5 and #6 filled in on the open courts with the Bobcats needing one more win for the team victory. At #2 MIT made a push as Anastasia Vishnevetsky was able to outlast Meg 6-3 in the final set where both put on a great match and Meg’s fight was awesome the entire time. MIT made things even closer when they won at #5 to push the match to 4-3.

At #3 Jacqui stepped up and out gritted her first year opponent in a 3 hour 45 minute display of toughness. Both girls fought well but in these never ending points, Jacqui stayed disciplined and never went for too much or tried to force the issue. When her opponent would get tired, Jacqui’s conditioning paid off and she gutted out the 5th point with a 6-4 third set win. At #6 Lucy remained a rock for the team, winning 6-1 6-3 and putting the icing on the cake for day. She imposed her will and was able to attack the net and continues to improve with every match.

This win today was a big one for the team and the result of controlling the things we could control, such as our fight, our positive attitudes, and our enjoyment of competition. The work is paying off and not only are the tennis skills improving, but the mental aspect is getting better every day. The Bobcats are now 6-3 and should be receiving national recognition in the next team rankings.


March 2012
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