Saturday, October 17, 2015

NEWITT Hosted By Smith

NEWITT History
Totally Tacky Tennis Practice
Coming off the frolic-filled tradition of Totally Tacky Tennis practice, Smith tennis hunkered down for some serious tennis on October 16-18.  The setting doesn't get any better as the fall colors provided the backdrop for  NEWITT (New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament).  Known as the longest running regional collegiate tennis tournament in the nation, the NEWITT, this year, was  a doubles only format. The tournament has taken many forms over the past 40 years and it is still remembered, by most past and present players of division III northeast colleges and universities, as the highlight of the fall season.  Alison Swain, coach of Williams College and former competitor in NEWITT, is this year's director.  She and her committee instituted a compass doubles tournament giving all participating teams maximum opportunity for 
competition.There were fewer participating teams this year  (12 schools) but more individual participation with 3 to 5 doubles teams per school.  Each doubles team was guaranteed two matches on Friday and two on Saturday.  Sunday, October 18 will mark the conclusion of the tournament leading to the eventually champions.  Currently, Amherst and Williams will dominate the main draw.  Teams from MIT, Brandeis, Trinity, Simmons as well as Smith will make up the consolation rounds.  Colby, MHC, Springfield, Wheaton and Babson all had main draw matches on Friday and Saturday but completed their competition by day 3.

Specific to Smith:
Fall at Smith
After careful thought and much juggling due to injury and illness, Day 1 of the NEWITT championship had Margaret Anne Smith and Samantha Peikes at number 1 doubles, Noa Dubin and Janan Fugel playing 2 doubles, Dana Smith and Annina van Riper at number 3 and Faith Flowers and Unsa Malik at 4th doubles.  Annina van Riper, plagued by a serious chest cold, had to decline her position leaving Dana partnerless.  Margaret Anne Smith stepped up and partnered with Dana in the first match against MIT while Samantha Peikes took Dana as her partner against an Amherst team.  Unsa and Faith played bravely against Babson in their first round and Wheaton in their second.   Margaret Anne and Samantha suffered a first round loss to Williams and then received a bye. 

Recapping Smith's second day and looking forward to day 3, many positive experiences were visible  on-court along with one win. Sam and Margaret Anne posted a solid "come from behind win" in their first match on Saturday and gave up a close one in the second at their home site.   They moved on to the consolation finals of their flight with a default over MHC.   Faith Flowers proved she has mastered the concept of "flow" in doubles and she became an aggressive net player in her Saturday matches showing her unrelenting courage and risk-taking on court.  Relatively new to the game, Faith is an fearless athlete determined to let nothing hold her back.  Dana showed her adaptability by her willingness to play with most anyone in the tournament.  Noa and Janan really understand the meaning of patience as they waited and waited and waited some more to go on.  When finally on court, they had two close matches running out of numbers on the scorecards!   Four Smith players were assigned to Bay Road Tennis Club for their matches and they were on a first name basis, by the end of the day, with Simmons and grateful to their coach for coaching (when we had mixed teams) as well as driving!

The Lindsay Morehouse Award
The Lindsay Morehouse award, commemorating the death of a Williams tennis team alum during 911, was presented on Saturday morning. This year's award winner was Victoria Tam from MIT.  A well-deserving recipient, Victoria accepted the award showing awe and humility.  Congratulations, Victoria.

Sunday order of play
All Matches at Smith.  Starting time: 10am 

East Finals:  Shin/Raventos (WILL) vs. Ip/Chen (AMH)
West Finals: Peters/Downey (MIT/SIM) vs. Irmer/Aisks (AMH)

East 3rd Place: Bush/Cancio (WILL) vs. Sung/Calla (AMH)

East backdraw: Gancayco/Hart (WILL) vs. Monteagudo/Ghosh (AMH)

North Finals: Ferjanic/Babunski(TRIN) vs. Frayley/Yang (AMH)

Backdraw finals:

Smith/Piekes (SMI) vs. Liu/Zhuang (MIT)

Marion/Simms (BRA) vs. Isaq/Lehat (BRA)

Chen/Matthews (SIM) vs. Curtis/Dirico (TRIN)

Stone/Saab (WILL) vs. Lindbloom/Weiber (TRIN)
Leavitt/Cohen (BRA) vs. Das/Zhu (MIT)
Cokely/Reinhard (SIM) vs. Eluhu/Neveux (WILL)