Sunday, October 16, 2016

NEWITT Accomplishments To Finishing Strong

The fall tennis season for Smith Tennis came to a climax the weekend of October 14-16 with 10 players selected to compete in the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament.  The event is a highlight of the fall tennis season for colleges and Smith College continues to host the prestigious 20 plus team event in conjunction with Mount Holyoke College.  This event showcases our Smith facility and the tournament showcases many of the best division III players in the northeast.   We were indeed fortunate to have beautiful fall days and the vibrant colors of fall flanking the courts added to the ambiance.
Smith Team preparing for NEWITT, 2016!
Play began on Friday at noon with a team tennis format of  2 playing making up a team. Both players competed in singles and doubles against their opponents.  The team participants for Smith were Margaret Anne Smith who paired with Samantha Peikes at number 1.  Noa Dubin and Janan Fugel were team 2.  Alexandra Steck and Kelli Cheung made team 3.  Kara Van Allen and Christine Yee were team 4 and Evie Hoffman and Tess Ostoyich made up team 5.   Sam and Margaret Anne drew the Trinity 1 team in first round.  Sam won her singles and Margaret Anne was edged by her opponent.  The two played a competitive doubles but Trinity won so the match score was 1-2.  Noa and Janan had a 1-2 loss versus Wheaton while Alexandra and Kelli defended their ground, moving to the next round in the main draw, after defeating WNC 2-1.  Kara and Christine bowed to Colby-Sawyer 0-3 and Evie and Tess lost 0-3 to Springfield.  In day two , the senior team of Alexandra and Kelli continued their winning streak as they defeated Babson, in what may have been their personal bests!  This senior team peaked at the right time!  All other Smith teams moved to the consolation rounds.  Sam had to make an emergency exit from the event and Emma Essenmacher left the tournament desk to fill in last minute.  They lost their doubles to Simmons but Margaret Anne came back with an excellent singles win to even the score.  Emma jumped in to play her singles and she came very close to upsetting the Simmons player in a steady three set match.

Margaret Anne Smith receiving
her NEWITT Warrior Award
The highlight at the Smith site on Saturday morning featured Margaret Anne Smith.  Nominated by her coaches and selected by the participating coaches in the NEWITT, Margaret Anne was awarded the first annual Lynn Miller Warrior Award.  Here is an explanation of the award:

Lynn Miller Warrior Award
Lynn Miller was the head coach at Wheaton College from 1980 until 2015.  She is currently an assistant coach with the Colby Sawyer College tennis teams.  The Lynn Miller Warrior Award is to be awarded to a current junior or senior player who embodies competitiveness in playing sport while competing with the highest level of integrity.  One of Coach Miller’s former players says of her:

“Her resilient character has enabled her to become a mentor to hundreds of athletes who have gone through her programs.  On a personal note, Coach Miller showed me how to compete with your mind and body while always keeping fair play at the center of competition.”

The nomination for Margaret Anne Smith
Our captain and warrior, Margaret Anne is remembered by most coaches and players because of her tenacious style on-court.  She will never give up. Her matches often go three or more hours as she skillfully loops her high shots to baseline over and over. Almost all of her opponents dread to see her walk onto their court because they know she will never quit. She has mastered the drob shot (half drive, half lob) and lob in an attempt to outlast and frustrate her opponent but she uses what abilities she has to the maximum and always stays mentally positive throughout. She is patient, determined and physically strong and able to get to almost any shot handed to her. She is positive in spirit and determined on the court.  She is a delight to coach. Her dedication, determination and fitness helped her to gain the best singles record on the team this season.

The commitment of those who were not on court was commendable and noteworthy.   A special thanks goes to Emerson Barry and Emma Essenmacher for getting out and playing when called on at the last minute.  Emma overcame her injury to go three sets in the B flight with the Simmons player! Emma did the lion's share of work at the tournament desk.   Joanna and Toula also took charge of the desk for a time and was joined by Annina Van Riper later on.  All did a great job of keeping the tournament moving.  Emerson deserves special notice for collecting all the scores on Saturday evening! Leigh Johnston was involved in campus work but made her cameo appearances now and again adding to the excitement of the weekend.

Smith Tennis finished on a strong note on this weekend and for the season.  They plan to continue their strength and conditioning workouts in the off season and they hope to start captains' practices soon.  They will be back in competitive action this spring.

Smith Tennis
Finished Strong
Finished Together

Encouraged One Another
All with grace!