Women's Tennis | Jumbos play well at NEWITTs
Strong showing by Gann, Schonfeld in last fall tournament
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 08:10
The New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tournament last weekend saw the continued hard work and dedication of Tufts’ women’s tennis team. A well-played final fall tournament will serve as a confidence-booster for the squad as it enters the long winter break.
The Jumbos headed to Mount Holyoke to compete with 16 local schools, including Amherst, Middlebury, MIT and Brandeis, in the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tournament. Each team matchup consisted of two singles matches and one doubles match, and the team that won at least two out of three moved on in the draw.
“NEWITTs is a tournament with a unique format allowing for a lot of match play in a short amount of time,” senior co-captain Lindsay Katz said.
Because of the way the format is set up, every team is constantly busy with matches. There are six events: Gail Smith — Flight A, Chris Davis — Flight B and four consolation events. This allows each team to really hone in on their skills and get a decent amount of match play under their belt.
“This tournament allowed us to see our skills improve and our confidence build from that added match play,” junior Samantha Gann said.
The increased number of matches allowed Tufts to showcase its consistency, which has the team’s key attribute this fall. The Jumbos got off to a shaky start with a 5-4 win against MIT, but once the rust came off, the team cruised to a 9-0 thrashing over Brandeis. After their flawless play, the Jumbos then headed to the ITA Regional tournament where they continued to win, making a few rounds of 16 matches and quarterfinals. Needless to say, heading into the NEWITTs, the Jumbos were ready to take to the courts once again.
“As players, we look forward to the fall season to gain more match experience,” Gann said. “We want to learn the specific areas we need to [concentrate on] — both as a team and individuals — in the upcoming months so we can come out our strongest in March.”
While the official scores for each specific singles and doubles match have yet to be released, according to the team, Tufts especially excelled in doubles, with Gann and sophomore Sophie Schonfeld making a strong run and reaching the semifinals.
On their way to the semifinals, Gann and Schonfeld, ranked fifth, defeated Cadance Wu and Julia Hsu from MIT and then Sadie Sackleford and Lauren Amos from Middlebury by 2-1 scorelines. The pair’s third match was won more thoroughly with a 3-0 quarterfinal triumph over Sarah Monteagudo and Isabel Camacho from Amherst. Gann and Schonfeld eventually fell to Amherst’s Jordan Brewer and Sue Ghosh 2-1 in the semifinals.
“Sam and Sophie ... really stepped up to the competition and made it to the semifinals of a very competitive tournament” senior co-captain Janice Lam said. “I was impressed by how they fought and how feisty they were even on Sunday, when we had already played two full days of tennis.”
Gann attributes the pairing’s success to the teamwork and camaraderie between her and Schonfeld.
“Personally, it was so exciting playing NEWITTs with Sophie and to feel us really coming together as a doubles team,” Gann said. “I think the highlight for me was our 9-7 doubles win against Amherst’s Jordan Brewer and Sue Ghosh in the semifinal round. We didn’t do anything to play outside ourselves, but everything just clicked perfectly.”
Other players played well, too. Senior Lauren Hollender and Lam teamed up and defeated Carley Cooke and Ally Bernstein from Brandeis before falling to Middlebury. Katz and junior Shelci Bowman defeated Alex Freeman and Courtney Fisher from Babson 3-0, but lost to a Williams team in the following round.
Freshman Catherine Worley played too as she teamed up with her sister, Nancy Worley, from Williams College and defeated Trinity’s Morgan Feldman and Frances Cameron 2-1 but lost in the next round. In the consolation match, the siblings defeated Simone Vandroff and Maya Vasser from Brandeis.