Mount Holyoke Tennis came to challenge Smith on Tuesday, September 22 and took home the gold defeating the Pioneers 9-0.
Mount Holyoke opened with a doubles sweep as the Ayame Yazawa and Margaux Holloschutz notched an 8-3 win over the Pioneers' duo of Margaret Anne Smith and Samantha Peikes. At second doubles, Alexa Colas and Ishita Tibrewal earned an 8-2 win over Smith's Noa Dubin and Morgan Barney. Rounding out the doubles action was the third doubles of Madison Rosen and Amy Chen, who powered their way to an 8-1 victory over Pioneers' Joanna Kim and Annina Van Riper.
Smith turned to their singles strength but it was not enough. Noa Dubin played with more and more confidence as the match progressed but was not able to outlast Ayame Yazawa, who took first singles 6-3, 6-3 . Samantha Peikes lost to Holloschutz 6-4, 6-0 at second singles in a hard hitting court battle where, at one point, Sam was seen diving across the court to save a point. Morgan Barney ran down every shot she could but lost to Colas 6-0, 6-1 at four singles. Joanna Kim bowed to Clara Wang 6-1, 6-0 in spite of her honed weapons, while Michelle Cai was the winner at six against Smith's Annina Van Riper. Van Riper earned three games at the number six singles position ending with a 2-6, 1-6 loss. The thriller, however, was on court three where Margaret Anne Smith kept Ishita Tibrewal on the court in a battle for three and a half hours ending in a 7-5, 0-6, 1-0 (10-8) victory for Tibrewal. Rallies averaged 30 to 40 hits. Concentration was never more readily witnessed. The third singles players from both teams served as a role model of sheer determination and fortitude.
The exhibition players of Dana Smith and Faith Flowers held their ground and challenged Katie Shumacher and Madisen Rosen in both singles and doubles. The Lyons held the wins in all exhibition positions. A special acknowledgement goes to Janan Fugel who bravely sat the bench with a sprained ankle but who was ever present and invested in the play this day! Unsa Malik also joined the team on the sideline today and will look forward to suiting up in the future for the Pioneers.
Both teams return to action this weekend, competing at the 2015 ITA Northeast Regionals, hosted by Middlebury College. The action begins on Friday and runs through Sunday.