Thursday, September 1, 2016

Smith Wins 5-4 in Cliffhanger Beginning to the Fall 2016 Season

Smith Tennis Enters the Fall Season
Ready or not, here we come!  Smith College Tennis took to the courts in an early opening match on Thursday, Sept 1 vs Nichols College.  The Pioneers kept the spectators on the edge of their seats winning the overall match 5-4.

In doubles play, the number one doubles team of Noa Dubin and Sam Peikes showed signs of crafty savvy doubles play as they took the lead 6-2 in the 8 game pro set only to lose the lead to an 8-8 tie.  Once they caught the spectators attention, they were then able to regain their momentum to win the tiebreak 7-0 and the overall match 9-8.  Number 2 and 3 doubles of Margaret Anne Smith and Janan Fugel at number 2 doubles and Alexandra Steck and Kelli Cheung  at third doubles were not so fortunate bowing to the Bisons leaving Smith down 1-2 following doubles play.  

Noa Dubin at number 1 singles and Sam Peikes at number 2 stepped confidently into the singles arena  with  decisive play defeating each of their opponents 6-1, 6-1.  Joanna Kim , at number 3 singles, played the most confident and mentally controlled match of her life not allowing her high strung opponent to distract her from the task at hand.  The momentum shifted frequently and, overall points were just about evenly divided  between the two players but in the end, Lindsay Kaplan of Nichols was able to link four additional points to a 10-6  third set tiebreak victory. Margaret Anne Smith analyzed her opponent, Rachel McDonald, quickly defrocking her of any of her weapons and winning 6-1, 6-3 while bringing in the winning point in the overall match for Smith. Kelli Cheung fought to a third set but succumbed after winning the first set 6-3. Kelli used her powerful groundstrokes, but it was not enough to outlast her opponent.  She lost  the second set 5-7 and the third set tiebreak 2-10.  Newcomer to the Smith lineup but known in the Pioneer Valley, Toula Sierros made her debut appearance in the starting line-up at number 6 singles.  Playing with confidence and shot variety, she
gained momentum throughout the match winning 7-5, 6-1.  

Exhibition doubles players and first years Evie Hoffman and Emma Essenmacher made their debut on the team at fourth doubles.  Leigh Johnston and Kara Van Allen paired up for the first time and brought in an 8-1 win at 5th doubles.  In exhibition singles, senior Christine Yee lost in a battle 3-6, 2-6 where Tess Ostoyich and Alexandra Steck brought in single exhibition wins.

Smith Tennis Travels to Wellesley on Saturday, September 3 for the first conference match of the season.