Beginning the spring dual-match season with the enviable task of hosting #2-ranked Amherst Sat., March 9, the Cardinals played a consistent and competitive brand of tennis despite dropping a 9-0 decision to their Little Three rival. It didn't get much easier for the squad as the next match Sun., March 10 brought #3-ranked Williams to town to complete a Little Three weekend for Wesleyan. Wesleyan gave Williams a run for its money before dropping a 7-2 result.
The tightest match of the afternoon vs. the Lord Jeffs proved to be first doubles as newcomer Clare DuBrin '15 (photo insert upper left) teamed with team captain Genevieve Aniello '13 (main photo) and the result came down to the wire as Amherst prevailed, 9-8. Second and third doubles went to Amherst by 8-1 counts.
In singles play against Amherst, DuBrin, who transferred to Wesleyan from #6-ranked Carnegie-Mellon, got four games off her Amherst rival at #1. Aniello collected five games at #2. Jessica Seidman '16 challenged her Amherst opponent at #4, falling 6-3, 6-3. At #6, Nicki Softness '14 was a four-game winner in defeat.
Aniello rose to the occasion against the Ephs, taking her singles match 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the last match of the day. Earlier, she and DuBrin had easily tackled their Eph rivals, 8-2, though Williams sat its usual top doubles pair. It was the first time in 14 seasons that a Cardinal took both a single and doubles match vs. the Ephs, the last being Tarsah Dale during the 1998-99 season as she won at #3 singles and #2 doubles. At #1, DuBrin took five games as the next best singles performance vs. the Ephs.
Wesleyan headed south for a four-match training mission in Orlando, Fla. The opening match Tues., March 12 featured Div. I Radford, followed by Div. I Creighton Wed., March 13, Haverford Thurs., March 14 and ASA College Fri., March 15. Radford captured all nine matches vs. Wesleyan for a 7-0 (Div. I style) win. Seidman pressed her opponent at #3 to 4-6, 4-6 while Lauren Jacobs '15 had a 5-7 first set and Softness had a 4-6 second set. the Cardinals suffered another 7-0 Div. I-style setback to Creighton. Seidman, at #4, had the best singles performance, winning the second set, 6-2, before falling in a super-tie-breaker, 10-8. At #1 doubles, Aniello joined Grace Smith '14 and pushed their rivals into extra play before falling, 7-9. Wesleyan registered a 7-2 victory over Haverford as Jacobs, Kiley Robbins '14 and Softness were all winners in both singles and doubles action. ASA captured the final match in Florida, 7-2. Cardinal victories came from Grace Smith '14 at #1 singles and the #3 doubles pair of Robbins and Softness.
The Cardinals had three weeks off from match play before beginning a seven-match NESCAC series to close out the year. The opening encounter took the squad to Middlebury, ranked #9 nationally, Sat., April 6. The Panthers dispatched the Cardinals, 9-0. Seidman had the closest match at #4, taking the opening set in a tie-breaker before falling in a super tie-breaker, 10-5.
Ahead for the team is a trip to Hamilton Sat., April 13.