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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Jumbos return to winning ways over long weekend

Sophomore Jacqueline Baum, pictured here in a match from last season, competed in both doubles and singles over the weekend matches.

The women’s tennis team returned to action this Patriot’s Day weekend with three matches, two of which came on the road and one of which took place on the Voute Courts at home. Tufts, ranked 19th nationally and eighth in the Northeast region, took on No. 30 Wellesley on Friday, Conn. College on Saturday and No. 1 Williams on Sunday. The Jumbos emerged victorious in two out of the three matches to improve their record to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in the NESCAC.

On Sunday, Tufts traveled to Williamstown, Mass. to battle powerhouse Williams. The Ephs won the match by a score of 9-0, conceding only two games in doubles play and 15 games in singles play. At No. 1 doubles, senior tri-captain Maria Pylypiv and first-year Julia Cancio defeated sophomores Alexa Meltzer and Conner Calabro 8-1, while first-year Juli Raventos and sophomore Linda Shin defeated first-year Lauren Louks and sophomore Jacqueline Baum 8-1 in the No. 2 doubles match. In the final doubles match, senior tri-captain Rebecca Curan and junior Maya Hart blanked first-years Aandrita Deb and Zoe Miller 8-0.

“The Williams players are strong all around but are very good at constructing points and hitting a deep ball until they get the right ball to take advantage of the point with,” Louks said.

Williams was consistently strong when the competition turned to singles play; the closest match came at the No. 4 singles position, where Eph first-year Mia Gancayco defeated Baum 6-2, 6-3. Williams maintained its perfect record on the season, and the team now sits at 16-0 overall and 5-0 in the NESCAC.

“The Williams players were stronger in their point execution and put-away shots,” Miller said. “Our team had the right strategies but sometimes was unable to finish the full plan during points.”

Tufts emerged victorious in its other two matches this weekend. On Saturday, the Jumbos faced the Conn. College Camels, a team with a 1-5 conference record, and took care of business with an 8-1 win. Tufts swept doubles play with its lineup unchanged before going on to win all but one singles matchup. The closest match of the day came at No. 6 singles, where Tufts sophomore Hannah Conroy outlasted sophomore Susanna Studwell of Conn. College in a super tiebreaker by a score of 4-6, 6-3, 10-7. The first two singles matches to come off the court proved to be the easiest of the singles wins for Tufts. Miller cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 at No. 5 singles and Baum only gave up one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 4 singles.

“In doubles against Conn. we focused on out-rallying our opponents; we didn't have to do anything special to win points so we focused on consistency,” Miller said. “The confidence boost from doubles made it easier to go out in singles with an aggressive mindset and play on the offensive side.”

Calabro won her match in the No. 2 singles position 6-0, 6-3, and Louks picked up a win in the No. 3 singles position 6-2, 6-2. The lone win for the Camels came at the No. 1 singles position, where first-year Aleksandra Drljaca defeated Meltzer 6-4, 7-5. The win over Conn. College was the second in as many days for Tufts after the team beat Wellesley in an out-of-conference match on Friday.

Although the Jumbos lost the first match of the afternoon at the No. 1 doubles position, Louks and Baum outlasted sophomores Dasha Kostikina and Samantha Stone at No. 2 doubles by a score of 9-8(2), and Deb and Miller played a similarly tough match against sophomore Andjela Stojkovic and first-year Emily Olson but pulled out the win, 9-7.

“Doubles at Wellesley really set the bar for the outcome of the rest of the match -- here we were able to pull out the close wins that led the momentum going into [singles],” Miller said. “The doubles matches at 2 and 3 could've gone either way, so it came down to a few crucial points.”

“It was very important for us to get off to a good start, and I think we won the match with our doubles,” Louks added.

The Jumbos won in the second through sixth singles positions to put a cap on a 7-2 win. Calabro, Louks, Baum, Miller and Deb all defeated their Wellesley counterparts in straight sets, while Meltzer fell in the No. 1 spot to 30th-ranked senior co-captain Sojung Lee. This was a big win for Tufts against a Wellesley team that is ranked just three spots behind them in the regional rankings.

Tufts has one more match on its regular season schedule and a chance to return to 0.500 in NESCAC play.The team will travel to Bowdoin, ranked fourth in the Northeast region, on Thursday afternoon for a match against the Polar Bears, who sit at 11-3 overall and 5-1 in the NESCAC.