Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October Break Successes

Smith Tennis opened October break on Saturday, October 8 with an exciting 7-2 win over Emerson in the final dual match of the fall season.   The match score does not indicate the closeness of the match as it was undecided until the end.  Number 1 and 3 doubles got Smith off on the right foot as they won 8-6 in both matches.  It looked as though Smith would take all three doubles for a decisive lead but Alexandra Steck and Kelli Cheung lost a heartbreaker at number 2 doubles bowing to Weingarten and Parikh 9-7 after the two Pioneers had a 7-2 lead.

Entering singles with a 2-1 lead, Margaret Anne Smith wowed the spectators as she dismantled her tall, strong opponent 6-0, 6-0.  From then on it was a battle between the two schools but Smith managed to stay strong and determined throughout eventually taking 5 out of the 6 singles.  Joanna Kim went three sets to overcome her opponent and Sam Peikes came from behind in both sets to, once again, bring in the winning team point.  Christine Yee, in her patient, persistent style edged her opponent to gain a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 win.  The back to back wins for Smith, however,  still left them one match win short of qualifying for the conference tournament.

Tim Klitch and the Team
Fall break did not end here as Smith rallied Sunday morning to a series of clinics offered by Tim Klitch of Austin Texas.  Tim is a national level tennis player ranked 11th in the men's 55 and over.  He brought his expertise and offered the team tips and strategies that they could immediately put into play.  He challenged the team to think beyond strokes and begin to cut down the size of the court and cut off angles through positioning and shot selection.  He demonstrated his prowess as he took each player, willing to step up to the challenge, in well orchestrated singles points leaving most defenseless.  The Smith team rose to the challenge and gained from the experience.

Next, Smith Tennis boarded a bus to Newport, Rhode Island where we visited the International Tennis Hall of Fame and all gained renewed appreciation for the history of this great game and those who have gained fame and success playing the game!  We had a spectacular fall day to travel and we moved from the Hall of Fame to Salve Regina, who graciously added us to their schedule, where we competed in a doubles scrimmage.  All 12 Smith team members traveling to Newport played in the six doubles matches and Smith was victorious in 4.  Dinner was next on the agenda and we dined in Newport before returning to campus.

It was a fun October break full of good memories, for the most part,  barring a traffic accident with three of the players.  The good news is that those players will be back in action very soon and we will need them as we head for the historic NEWITT tournament starting Friday, October 14.  We are hosting the event along with MHC so, if you are in the area, please plan to come and see some great tennis.