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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Tufts drops three straight matches to NESCAC opponents

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The Jumbos were a few points away from turning an 0-3 stretch into a 2-1 one.

After starting the NESCAC with two wins at Colby and Bates, the No. 19 Tufts women’s tennis team has dropped its past three league matches against No. 3 Amherst, No. 33 Trinity and No. 17 Wesleyan. The team, despite its recent losing streak, maintains a 2-3 conference record and can still salvage the rest of the conference slate against Conn. College, No. 1 Williams and No. 10 Bowdoin.

On a beautiful Monday afternoon in Medford, the Amherst Lord Jeffs visited the Jumbos for a match on the Voute Tennis Courts. Amherst took a 3-0 lead after doubles competition with strong performances at all positions. In the No. 1 position, sophomores Alexa Meltzer and Conner Calabro squared off against first-year Vickie Ip and junior Sue Ghosh, ranked No. 50 in the nation individually, and lost 8-1. In the No. 2 doubles position, sophomores Chelsea Hayashi and Jacqueline Baum held a 5-4 lead against junior Maddy Sung and sophomore Jackie Calla but lost the last four games to lose 8-5. In the No. 3 position, first-years Aandrita Deb and Zoe Miller fell 8-6 to senior Safi Aly and junior Sarah Monteagudo. In singles play, the lone win for Tufts came in the No. 6 position, where Miller defeated sophomore Claire Carpenter by a score of 6-4, 6-4. The rest of the matches fell in Amherst’s favor. Ip defeated Meltzer 6-1, 6-0 in the No. 1 position, while Ghosh defeated Calabro 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 2 position.

“She is definitely a solid player,” Calabro said of Ghosh. “The way that I neutralized the points during the match was by using the wind to my advantage as well as hitting high and heavy shots to her backhand.”

First-year Lauren Louks, Baum and Hayashi played in the No. 3, 4 and 5 positions, respectively, and all fell in straight sets. Although Tufts won more matches in Saturday’s tilt at Trinity, the result was the same, as Trinity won the match 5-4. Tufts won two out of the three doubles matches to begin the day, as Meltzer and Hayashi beat first-years Emily Curtis and Vanja Babunski by a score of 8-1. Deb and Miller played in the No. 3 position against junior Katie Hawkins and senior Abby Barton and prevailed by the same result. Baum and Calabro played at No. 1 doubles and lost to the Bantam pair of juniors Morgan Feldman and Melita Ferjanic, 8-1. Tufts was not able to hang on for the win in singles play, winning at only the four and five positions. Baum and Miller both won easily in straight sets, but Meltzer, Calabro and Hayashi, who played in the No.1-3 positions, respectively, could not pull out wins. The deciding match came down to sophomore Hannah Conroy in the No. 6 singles position, who lost in a three-set nailbiter, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to Curtis.

“Though we’ve had some rough losses, I genuinely believe that those times make the team closer and stronger,” Calabro said. “We all feel the pain and disappointment of the losses together, which makes us all want that excitement and joy to experience when we win the next time. We play for each other on the court, and when we keep that in mind, 100 percent effort is given.”

On April 8, the Jumbos lost their first conference match of the season to the Wesleyan Cardinals. The weather was not as nice last week as it was over the weekend, which meant the match had to be played indoors in the Hirsh Tennis Center. The Cardinals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after sweeping doubles play. Even though Tufts won four out of the six singles matches, the first two singles matches off the court went in Wesleyan’s favor, meaning that it had accrued enough wins to win the match. The Jumbos that won were Calabro at No. 2 singles and Hayashi, Baum and Miller, who played in the No. 4-6 positions, respectively.

"In singles we made it our top priority to go into the matches with a fearless attitude and it boosted our confidence more than anything," Miller said.

Tufts has an overall record of 6-6 and a conference record of 2-3 as it gears up to play an out-of-conference away match against Wellesley on Friday. The team will then take on Conn. College at home on Saturday.

“Against Wellesley, I want every player on our team to go out and play their own games,” Calabro said. “I want every single point won or lost to be because our girls were playing with no regrets.”