Monday, April 20, 2015

Dubin, Peikes and Smith lead Smith Tennis in Final Match Play of the Season

Smith Tennis ended their spring season on an action packed weekend with a pair of 3-6 losses. The Pioneers dropped two close matches on April 18 and 19 to Roger Williams and Nichols College but not without individual achievements, sacrifice, encouragement and competitive match play.

It was senior day for the Pioneers as the beautiful sunny day and outdoor courts at Smith served as perfect setting for the Pioneers' last home match of the season. Andrea Tanco, Seema Samawi, Jordan Dubin and Ruth Yi were all honored for their contributions to Smith tennis over the years. Seema Samawi is a four year veteran never missing a season of competition for Smith.  Also honored was a senior from Roger Williams.

Margaret Anne Smith, once again, started the match on the right note by singing the national anthem. Smith seemed ready to go but so was Roger Williams. Roger Williams had just finished an earlier match that day and proved to be match tough as they took an early 3-0 in doubles.  With their backs to the wall, Smith came out fighting in singles and it looked, for a while, that they might take five of the six singles for the win but the Hawks had other thoughts in mind.

Senior co-captain and number 1 singles player, Jordan Dubin set the stage by putting it all together in singles playing to her full potential. She never allowed her opponent to get control as Jordan attacked, changed direction and kept the Roger Willams number 1, Lauren Smith, off balance throughout Jordan's 6-2, 6-0 victory. First year and number 3 singles, Samantha Peikes, followed suit with a 6-3, 6-3 victory and Margaret Anne, at number 4 singles, brought in a 6-4, 6-1 victory. The battle continued as Kelli Cheung, sophomore, and Ruth Yi, senior co-captain kept our hopes up and held us in suspense at number 2 and 5th singles respectively. They both put up a good fight but in the end Kelli bowed to Katie Hughes in a 6-3, 7-6 match and Ruth lost to Courtney McCarthy 7-5, 6-2 .

The Smith Tennis team regrouped on Sunday morning for a road trip to play Nichols College. The team was, once again, fortunate to have the perfect spring day in New England.  The match was played at the idyllic setting of The Rectory Scool in Pomfret, CT. This day, Smith gained an all-important  doubles point at the number three doubles position. Margaret Anne Smith and Samantha Peikes notched an 8-2 victory.  Number one doubles of senior, Ruth Yi snd sophomore Kelli Cheung, were not as fortunate as they had to retire with a 4-3 lead after Kelli took a direct hit in the head by a ball.  Anja Block gained valuable doubles experience playing with Jordan but Roger Williams showed more prowess at 2 claiming the point.

Margaret Anne and Sam allowed Smith to start singles 1-2.  Jordan jumped into action at number 1 singles and claimed a decisive 6-2, 6-1 victory ending her college tennis career on a high note and tying the overall match score at 2-2! Samantha always provides us with excitement and this day was no exception. She claimed the first set 6-2 and then turned around to drop the second set 2-6. A 10 point tiebreak was used to determine the third set.  Sam held on to gain the 10-7 breaker and the victory.  Margaret Anne played the winningest player in Nichol's tennis history. She was toe to toe with Benoit in the first set and she played with sheer determination in the second set but the Roger Williams player had a few too many weapons in her arsenal that day and Margaret Anne lost 6-4, 6-1.  Seema Samawi had her swan song at 4 singles against a big hitter and she bowed 6-0,6-1.  Christine Yee and Katie Hazen rounded out the lineup for the Pioneers giving their best in the competition but it was not enough to secure a win.  Participation was the name of the game on that Sunday. Some  veteran starters sacrificed playing time to allow all who traveled an opportunity to be in the starting lineup demonstrating the highest level of sacrifice and grace.  As the Smith Pioneers end the spring tennis season, we are reminded of the team motto:

Smith Tennis
Finish strong
Finish together
Encourage one another
All with grace