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.