Facing local rival William Smith College on Sunday, March 24, the women’s tennis team put forth one of their best efforts of the season, handing the visitors their first loss of the season in an 8-1 thumping.
The ’Jackets had no trouble readjusting to the fast, indoor courts at the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center after spending spring break competing on significantly slower outdoor courts in Los Angeles. The win was UR’s second in a row, following a tight 5-4 triumph over California Lutheran University 10 days prior.
Kicking off the match at first doubles was senior Frances Tseng and sophomore Cara Genbauffe, who opened the match with a service game lasting well over 10 minutes. After fighting through the initial battle, the duo was able to cruise to an 8-3 victory. Tseng’s serves were perhaps the most impressive aspect of the win, as their opponents from William Smith constantly struggled to get returns back in play. At second doubles, freshmen Christine Ho and Molly Goodman fell 8-3.
Despite the loss, both players continued to show improvement as a doubles team, losing mainly as a result of William Smith’s experience, not talent. At third doubles, sophomore Rachel Suresky and senior Hayley Brower teamed up to notch another point for the ‘Jackets, winning 8-3. Although the match started out tight, a combination of Suresky’s powerful groundstrokes and Brower’s court coverage proved too much for their opponents to best. Considering the competitiveness of the two teams, UR’s 2-1 lead after doubles was undoubtedly a key to the win, giving them the extra confidence to continue their strong play into singles.
At the top of the lineup for UR was Tseng, who returned to singles for the first time in weeks. The captain did not take any time to shake off the cobwebs, crushing her opponent 6-1, 6-2 in what was by far the biggest landslide of the day.
At second singles, Suresky displayed more of the grit that has gotten her through a number of tough matches this season, coming back from a dropped first set to take a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 win.
After a tight first set at third singles, Genbauffe took control of her match to easily win the second for a 7-6(3), 6-0 victory in what would clinch the match for the ‘Jackets.
At fourth singles, Ho would have to battle through a second set tiebreaker to take the match in straight sets, winning 6-2, 7-6(3).
Rounding out the lineup were Goodman and Brower, who both came away victorious. Goodman stepped up during the biggest points of her match to win 6-2, 3-6, 12-10 at fifth singles, while Brower completed the singles sweep with a 7-6(2), 6-3 win at sixth.
The win brings UR to 6-4 this season and will surely help them in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings, which are to be released Thursday, March 28. The ‘Jackets are looking to rise above 15th, where they are currently ranked among Division III teams in the Northeast Region.
After a weekend off, women’s tennis will return to action on Saturday, April 6 as they travel to New York City to take on the New York University Violets in a UAA Conference matchup. On Sunday, April 7, the team will visit Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
Shapiro is a member of the class of 2016.