Logo: Wesleyan Athletics

1998-99 Women's Tennis Season in Review

With the influx of three outstanding newcomers who immediately moved into starting singles spots, Wesleyan's women's tennis team came through with its most productive fall season in history en route to the finest overall record ever. Posting a fall record of 8-2, surpassing the 7-2 record of 1997, the 1998-99 edition also placed fourth among 22 teams in the New England Division III championships and had its first-ever New England titlist. Tarsah Dale '02, playing at no. 3 singles, captured the crown in her division. The team's only losses came by the narrowest of margins, 5-4, to Trinity and Williams. Williams went on to finish second in New England behind Little Three rival Amherst while Trinity placed seventh, giving Wesleyan a sense of satisfaction in avenging one of its dual-match defeats. Included among the wins was a 5-4 conquering of Division I Fairfield and a 7-2 win over Middlebury, the no. 8 team in New England.

During the spring, Wesleyan added five victories in six matches to close out the year with a 13-3 overall record, exceeding the 11 wins amassed by the 1997-98 squad. Four of the victories came during the team's training trip to Hilton Head, S.C., while the only loss came to Division I North Carolina-Charlotte. Up north, the Cardinals defeated Yale J.V. in an exhibition match, conquered Meredith College and came through with a strong effort in the Wellesley Shootout Tournament. With rivals Wellesley, Middlebury and Trinity in the field of four teams, Wesleyan players captured four of six possible titles as Alison Rovner '02 won the second singles flight, Rachel Sigman '01 earned the crown in the third singles flight and the tandems of Rovner and Kelly Schunk '02 (flight #2) and Nicky Sumorok '01 and team captain Claudia Makadon '99 (flight #3) also won their respective divisions.

Stacia Poulos '00 handled no. 1 singles most of the year, compiling a 9-5 record in dual matches. Dale and Sigman had two of the team's strongest showings as each nearly equaled the team's overall mark, Dale going 12-4 and Sigman 12-3. Rovner also had a fine dual-match season with a 10-2 mark. Makadon, the only senior to play among the top six, had a team-best 12-2 (.857 winning percentage) record, including 7-1 at no. 6. In doubles, Poulos and Sigman made a case for NCAA Division III tournament consideration for the second year in a row with a 12-3 dual-match mark at no. 1 and reaching the semi-finals at New Englands, losing to top-seeded Amherst.

The Cardinals were slated to play Amherst in a dual match during the spring, but the competition was cancelled. Still Wesleyan was in contention for a team bid to the NCAA Division III tournament and with five of the team's top six singles players and both the no. 1 and no. 2 doubles teams coming back intact, the prospects for the 1999-2000 season are extremely pleasant.