Vassar College’s women’s tennis team has had a strong season so far. Freshman Kate Christensen has been an integral part of that success. She’s playing at the No. 1 spot for the Brewers in her first collegiate season and has been a force from the beginning. Two weekends ago, Christensen showed just how formidable an opponent she is by winning the ITA Northeast Regional Tournament Singles Championship, which is a rare feat for a first semester freshman.
After winning the regional title, Christensen has earned a bid to the USTA/ITA National Singles Championship for all of Division III and has also earned the distinction of being named to ITA All-American status.
In an emailed statement to The Miscellany News, Christensen explained her mindset just before competition. “Before a match, I just really like to relax. I know that I will do my very best to win. I just have to play my game and see how it goes.”
Christensen’s game plan proved very successful. She began with wins over sophomore Olivia Ammirati of New Paltz and sophomore Hannah More from William Smith. She moved on to defeat junior Alison Wang from NYU. Christensen’s closest match of the weekend was against senior Elkie Vandenbeemt of St. Lawrence. Vassar’s freshman defeated her 7-5, 6-0.
She moved on to defeat senior Kirsten Ackerman of The Sage Colleges. In the finals, Christensen defeated TCNJ’s freshman Brittany Reedman 6-0,6-0.
Christensen lists this weekend’s final match as the highlight of her season so far. “Winning ITA’s is unquestionably one of my favorite game memories so far. In the finals, the whole team was supporting me, whether present or not, and coach Kathy was on the court. I knew exactly how to play my opponent. I stuck to my game and it felt really great to execute my strategy.”
Junior teammate Winnie Yeates has had nothing but good things to say about playing with Christensen on and off the court. “Playing with Kate has been a lot of fun. She brings a lot of positive energy to the team while still being competitive and focused every point.”
Fellow freshman Courtney Geiss echoed Yeates’ sentiments. “Kate is always smiling and cheering everybody else on in practice and is very supportive. She has a very consistent game and works the point well. It’s always fun to play with her because you know you’ll have some long points that will push you to your own limits. So far, it’s been really great being a freshman on the team with her.”
Yeates continued to praise Christensen moving forward into this weekend. “She has been a great addition to the team, both in terms of tennis ability and experience as well as her overall demeanor. After making All-American, I think she’ll have a really great run at the tournament she qualified for in South Carolina this week, and we are all very excited for her!”
Not only has Christensen been successful individually but she’s also helped the Brewers start off their Liberty League season strong. The Brewers are now 2-0 in the Liberty League after defeating Bard College and Union College in dual match play this weekend. Christensen defeated both opponents she faced 6-1, 6-1 and 6-0, 6-0.
Christensen has felt the team’s season has begun the season with a strong showing and looks forward to the spring and the heights the team may reach. “The team has done very well. Everyone is doing their best and having a great time, which is what’s most important. It was a great pre-season and I can’t wait until the Spring.”