The women’s tennis team improved its record to 6-3 for the spring this weekend. The Brewer women started off their spring season in February. Since then, they have played in Poughkeepsie, in California for their spring break training trip and at various other Liberty League schools. The team had a winning record during their California trip going 3-2. More recently, the team’s overall ranking has jumped from #27 in the nation to #25. A critical part of this jump was the high level of competition the Brewers faced over break. During break, the Brewer women played three ranked teams, including then #7 Bowdoin College. They fell to Bowdoin and #10 Pomona College but defeated #23 Chapman University.
Despite the loss to Bowdoin, the team had a successful match, showing improvement from last year. Freshman Hanna Maguire was incredibly impressed with her team’s play against Bowdoin in particular. “Although we didn’t come away with an overall victory, our doubles performance was amazing. Last year, we didn’t win any doubles points against them, but this year, we won two. Kelsey Van Noy and Lauren Stauffer were the last match to finish. It was a really close match, and they both fought so hard. Their victory gave us momentum for the singles matches that followed and for the matches later that week.”
After the Bowdoin match, the Brewers have been 4-1 falling only to #10 Pomona. The successful spring break trip allowed the Brewer women their surge in the national rankings. The high level of play during the trip was also helpful for the Brewers in the individual rankings. Currently, the No. 1 doubles team of junior Samantha Schapiro and freshman Shayna Becker is ranked #13 in the Northeast region. Not only do the Brewers overall sit at #25, but they are ranked #10 in the 110-team Northeast region, reflecting the successful year the team has been having.
Skidmore College defeated the Brewers in Liberty League play earlier in the season before their trip; however, they clinched their first Liberty League victory against the St. Lawrence University Saints. Sophomore standout Kelsey Van Noy managed her second match-clinching win this season. She had a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Hallie Young in a five and-a-half-hour match. Van Noy partnered with senior Captain Lindsay Kantor at the No. 3 doubles spot for the Brewers’ second match point. Kantor was perfect on the day with a win at the No. 4 singles spot as well. The No. 2 doubles team of sophomore Winnie Yeates and freshman Emily Hallewell also earned a point for the Brewers. Schapiro also won her match at the No. 1 spot in singles play.
Maguire felt that her team worked hard for the win against St. Lawrence and it paid off in the end. “We went to St. Lawrence last weekend and they were a challenge for us. We went ahead in doubles 2-1—each match was close and very competitive. All of the singles matches were difficult, but the two that really stood out were Samantha Schapiro’s and Kelsey Van Noy’s. Sam lost the first set to Elkie, but then pulled out the win. And Kelsey clenched the match for us against Hallie, which was one of the best moments for us.”
The Brewers continued their weekend with a 9-0 shutout of League rivals RIT. Kantor and Van Noy at the No. 3 doubles spot managed a perfect 8-0. Kantor at the No. 4 singles spot also picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win. Becker earned the Brewers’ shutout match win at the No. 5 singles spot. Van Noy had a perfect 6-0 second set victory while only giving up three games in her first set. Between the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles, the Brewers allowed a combined three points against them. In all but the No. 1 singles match, Vassar gave up just 11 points in five positions.
According to Maguire, the Brewers have a lofty goal this season. “Our team goals for this season are to beat Skidmore and become Liberty League Champions.”
Part of the Brewers’ success so far has been their incredible depth. The team is small, but strong, and Maguire feels that it has fostered a winning, competitive atmosphere. “This year’s team is all about depth. Although we obviously have a starting lineup, all of our players are fairly equal to each other. Each challenge match is competitive and we all support each other.”
The Brewers will next host RPI on April 5th at 10:00 AM on the Josselyn Tennis Courts for their second to last Liberty League match of the season before they compete in the Liberty League Championships in May.
Maguire believes much of the team’s success has been their close connection. This connection has allowed them success and will continue to foster their growth in their quest for a Liberty League Championship. “We definitely get along as a team. With only nine girls, we’ve all become really close and work together to support each other. Although I’ve been injured for most of the season, I still feel like I am as much involved in the team as those who are playing. All the girls have been incredibly supportive in helping get my game back to where is was before my injury.”
Even with the team’s strength this year, Schapiro was a standout in the No. 1 Singles and Doubles position this weekend especially. She won her singles matches at the No. 1 position and went 1-1 with Becker at the No. 1 doubles position, falling 6-8 in a close match. The junior was instrumental in the weekend’s success. The Liberty League honored her this week with an Honor Roll after her 3-1 performance.