Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reunion Reunion....Smith Tennis of course!

Jen Beindorf Baily, Jen Monachino Lapey, Chris Davis, Mary Dickinson, Dana Strickland, Mandy Klaas
There was a wonderful joyous celebration on Saturday afternoon, May 21, at the Smith College outdoor tennis courts.  The day of second reunion began with the traditional alumnae parade and state of the college address by Kathy McCartney (Smith President)  on center campus followed by an athletic reception.  The highlight of the day, for tennis players,  took place at 3pm on the Smith College outdoor courts.  Six former team members spanning from 1981 through 2016 participated in the fun tennis event.  The Smith College 1991 Tennis Team was one of the best for Smith with the players earning a national ranking of seventh.  The top doubles team from that year consisted of Jennifer Beindorf and Jen Monachino.  Although each now reside in different parts of the country (Florida and NY respectively) and are busy in work and with raising a family,  they have managed to carve out important tennis time.  The two arrived to campus for the festivities with a stronger tennis game then when they graduated.  Their priority, among all the reunion activities offered, was tennis and so we formed an eclectic group of alums, current players and members of the Smith and Northampton tennis community.  All took to the courts that Saturday afternoon with Jen and Jen upholding their reputation. They defeated anyone assigned to play them and they played with determination and decisiveness .  There was much reminiscing as the two sparked stories and memories.   Other tennis alums, who played on Saturday, included Mary Dickinson ('81).  Mary always entertains her audience with remarkable stories of her life experiences.  Mandy Klaas ('00) was able to make the pilgrimage and showed her volley poaching aggressiveness has not diminished over the years.  Dana Strickland ('91) was also a member of the nationally ranked team of 1990-1991.  Dana was spotted in several pictures from past years and has remained a classy and

Jen and Jen;  they just keep getting better on the tennis court!
gracious competitor. Lisa Black and Nawal Mays were spotted in the parade but they were not able to participate in the tennis.  A special thanks goes out to Leigh Johnston who represented our current team and served as the student coordinator for the class of 1981.
Tennis alumnae and community support

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Great Group: Smith College Tennis Team, Spring 2016

Seven Sisters' dinner
fun times

Dinner at Chuck's is a highlight of the season.  Thanks, Chuck!
Smith College Tennis Team, Spring 2016

Very supportive team!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dual Matches Conclude For Smith College Tennis

The dual match spring season concluded with a cliffhanger 4-5 loss for Smith to Nichols College on April 17.  The venue was a home match for Smith on a beautiful idyllic spring Sunday.  The Pioneers had come off a competitive but-one sided loss to Endicott the day before but re-entered the competitive scene prepared for the final match of the season.  It was senior day for the

Tennis Team and Sarah Cassidy-Seyoum, Smith's lone senior was honored.  The special Smith Tennis Team demonstrated the utmost grace on this day as they all worked together creating the line-up that afforded Sarah the opportunity to play both singles and doubles.  It was a rare moment in college tennis and one to be remembered.

Team huddle before Nichols match
Smith entered the doubles carrying the remnants of the challenging dual match from the day before but the players shook off the soreness and excuses and competed with determination.  All three doubles matches kept the spectators on the edge of their seats.  Joanna Kim and Sam Peikes played dead even with the number one doubles from Nichols before being edged out 8-9 in a tiebreak finish.  The number three doubles of Sarah Cassidy-Seyoum and Tess Ostoyich followed suite finishing with an 8-9 tiebreak loss as well.  It was exciting doubles and only a very few points separated the Pioneers from two potential wins.

Singles was next and Smith stepped on the court with line-up that had the potential to turn the match around.  Noa Dubin crushed Cristina Szepanski 6-0, 6-1 setting the tone for the singles play.  Sam anchored number 2 singles and brought in a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Bison's Ashley Dallaire.  The match became even more exciting as Sarah Cassidy-Seyoum took the first set 6-4 and then charged through Morgan Heirsche 6-0 in the second set.  The match was now 3-4 in favor of the Bisons with 2 matches still in the balance.  Morgan Barney was up 4-1 in the second set, having dropped the first set 3-6, and it looked like she might split sets with Dani Saldarriago.  Janan Fugel was on court 4 battling Tiff Romano.  Janan came from behind to take the first set but the heat was becoming a factor and taking a toll on all remaining players.  The Pioneers needed both matches to pull off the win and  it looked like it just might happen until the tide turned on Morgan.  She lost her momentum and, feeling the affects of long points and the warm day, she succumbed 6-4 in the second set.  Janan "toughed it out" finishing with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.

Smith College Tennis showed their resolve this match and this spring.  They entered competition with positive attitudes and they always gave their best.  Their coaches feel they have made great strides in the division III competitive world and,  though it will be sad to see Sarah graduate and leave this cohesive group, it is certain that the returning players will be looking forward to banding together in the fall to take on the NEWMAC conference competition.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Vassar Wins 2016 Seven Sisters' Tennis Championship

After a rugged start on Saturday facing the top seeds of Wellesley and Vassar, Smith rallied for some individual bests in second day of play at the Seven Sisters' Championship. Although Smith was not able to secure a team win, individual players showed their top competitive form.  Joanna Kim had her best performance on court since arriving to Smith. She played with a calm determined demeanor defeating her MHC opponent, Michelle Cai, in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) at No. 3 singles.

Noa Dubin played "lights out tennis" in the morning against Bryn Mawr at number 1 singles and then  played toe to toe with her MHC opponent dropping the first set in a tiebreak of unbelievably high quality tennis on the lightening fast indoor courts at Vassar and ultimately bowing in the second set.

Samantha Peikes brought in two wins for the day defeating Em Prozinski of Bryn Mawr 6-0, 6-0 at the No. 2 spot and then going the distance outlasting Margaux Holloschutz of MHC, 7-5, 3-6, 11-9 Congratulations to Samantha who was named to the Seven Sisters' All Conference team.

Smith returns to action April 16 and 17 on their home courts.

Maybe next year?????

Friday, April 8, 2016

How Busy Are We?

The Smith College Tennis Team is so busy right now that there has been no time to even update this blog site.  I know you have been dying to know what we are up to.  We have played two tough matches since the last blog entry and we are headed to the historic Seven Sisters' Championship (hosted by Vassar this year) this weekend in Poughkeepsie, NY.  This tournament is a highlight of the season and the Smith Pioneers are ready for the competition!  We were outside for a brief time and competed against Colby-Sawyer on our outdoor courts (eventually forced indoors by rain and lightening) and we travelled to Conn College to learn about adapting to conditions as we battled the camels on their fast indoor surface.

Training tool for eliminating foot faults.
It really works!
In between all the training, competition and preparation for the tournament this weekend, the team has had some good fun!  An Easter egg hunt sent the team members scurrying around the indoor facility in search of chocolate  (dark chocolate is preferred by our captain) prior to the holiday weekend.  Next, the coaches worked on eliminating foot faults in serving by applying a unique method later to be called an April Fools' joke.  (see picture).  The dedicated team did not miss a 
Competitive Tess surprises all by
finding the most chocolate eggs.
Go Tess!
Eggs found!

registering for fall classes at courtside

beat and brought their computers to court side for fall class registration.
and then...more snow in April?  Oh no!
Now, with flower in hand as well as well armed with tactics and strategies, the team will head to Vassar College for the Seven Sisters' Championship  The round robin format will afford Smith the opportunity to compete against Wellesley, Vassar, Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke  (okay, so there are only 5 but we still call it the Seven Sisters)
Ready for Seven Sisters' Championship

Stay in touch as we will post results but, more importantly, share some good memories yet to be made at the event.  If you are in the Poughkeepsie area this weekend, come and cheer for Smith.  We would love to see you.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Simmons Returns To Smith For 7-2 Victory

Noa Dubin
It was a cold morning in Northampton as Simmons made their annual pilgrimage to Smith on March 26 for the dual tennis match with the Pioneers.  Smith is grateful for the willingness of the Sharks to come to the Pioneer Valley on a yearly basis but the "home court advantage" did not seem to help Smith as the Sharks won the match 7-2.

Both teams agreed to compete outdoors and play started with temperatures at 37 degrees.  The overcast cold day did not distract from the competitive spirit of the two squads.   The Smith third doubles winning combination of Janan Fugel and Morgan Barney defeated Ashley Chen and Mary Matthews 8-4 leaving Smith with a score of 1-2  going into the singles.

The singles looked strong for Smith at the start.  Noa Dubin took charge of her first singles match winning a flawless first set 6-0 but finding herself frustrated with her scrappy opponent, Theresa Reinhard.   Eventually Noa found herself behind and not able to gain her momentum losing both the second and third sets.  Samantha Peikes (number 2 singles) had a slow start but settled in and  began to handle the effective slice of Meghan Cokely as they started the second set.  It was not enough, however, and Sam took her 1-6, 4-6 loss with grace.  Joanna Kim's opponent, Katie Crowley,  was a "wall" according to Kim and missed few shots.  Joanna loves to play offensively and today she had to go all out in order to earn points against her consistent opponent but, as is often the case when forced to "win" every point outright, it is difficult to achieve offensive perfection.  Joanna had many more winners than her opponent but also found herself with more errors thus succumbing to Crowley 1-6, 2-6.  Morgan Barney still claims the most solid defensive game on the Smith squad but only defense is not good enough against a nationally ranked team and Morgan bowed to Rachel Downey 2-6, 2-6.  Janan Fugel stepped up with a variety of shots and executed good tactics but it was not enough to off set the 6-1, 6-2 victory for Simmon's Ashley Chen.  The lone singles win for the Pioneers was achieved by Alexandra Steck.  She patiently set up and finished points with a steady, poised and determined style defeating Ashley Pierce 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.  Alexandra is now 2-1 in singles play this spring.  The Pioneers are 1-2 and will host Colby-Sawyer on April 1 at 4pm.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Smith Bows to Regis in Close Match

Smith College Tennis Team, spring 2016
Smith Tennis hosted Regis College in the Indoor Track and Tennis facility (ITT) on the final day of Smith's spring break (March 20).  The Pioneers found themselves down after doubles play 1-2 with Noa Dubin and Samantha Peikes bringing in the lone Smith doubles win of the day 8-4 over Murphy and Lord.  Smith then jumped to a strong start in singles with Noa and Sam each winning their matches 6-0, 6-4 and 6-1, 6-0 respectively.  The score was then tied at 3-3 for the next hour as the Pioneers battled The Pride at singles positions 3-6.    Regis' Emily Rice earned a pivotal win for the Pride defeating Morgan Barney (Smith) at number 3 singles in a long three setter 4-6, 6-0, (10-5).  The win for the Pride placed pressure on the remaining two singles players.  Alexandra Steck at number 5 singles and Sarah Cassidy-Seyoum at number 6 each needed to win in their respective position for the Pioneers to earn the match.  The match was in reach for Smith as Sarah dropped a close first set 5-7 but staying determined as she entered the second set and Alexandra battled back from a 0-6 first set to be 3-3 in the second.  Everyone remained on the edge of their seats as the match progressed but gradually Regis gained a stronger foothold and managed to pull in wins at both the 5th and 6th singles positions.  Although the Pride secured the 6-3 victory this day, both teams are evenly matched and they look forward to starting a tradition of dual match play in the future.