Although the Yellowjackets finished sixth in play this past weekend at the Liberty League Championships, the young team’s general consensus is that the more experience it gains with match play, the better the team will become.Eight schools competed in the championships, which were played at UR at the Peter Lyman Tennis Center and the indoor courts at the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center. The field included Vassar College, Skidmore College, Hamilton College, William Smith College, St. Lawrence University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Union College.In play against number two seeded Skidmore on Saturday, the number one doubles team of freshmen Colleen Cross and Alexa Perry and the number three team of Jaymi Della and Tessa Baker both lost, but at number two doubles, the team of freshman Shivani Kumar and sophomore Dana Sall came out with a win at 8-5.”It seems like doubles has been a weakness for us this entire season,” Cross said. “Although we have had time to get used to our partners and we are competing better, we are still having trouble pulling out a win when a match gets close. I think this will improve with even more experience and hopefully we will be able to get some good doubles wins soon.” In other action on Saturday, the Yellowjackets defeated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 5-1.”On Sunday, UR looked a bit tired against St. Lawrence,” Head Coach Anna Khvalina said. “After a long day on Saturday, we needed to be in better shape as a team to compete better as a team.” The first doubles team of Cross and Perry and second doubles team of Kumar and Sall lost 8-6 and 8-4, respectively. At third doubles, the team of Baker and Della failed to take advantage of a big lead, losing 9-7 and giving SLU a 3-0 lead. St. Lawrence went on to win the match 5-0. “We have a lot of young talent, and as soon as we get some experience behind us as well, we will be great,” freshman Alexa Perry said. “Most of our matches were very close, and only came down to a few games as to who won or lost.” The weather was definitely a factor in the matches.”This weekend’s tournament was especially difficult because of the cold and wind,” Perry said. “In a situation like [this], it mainly comes down to who can play the elements better instead of who has the better strokes.” Several of UR’s best players are freshmen, so this fall season has been a time for them to become acclimated to intercollegiate competition. “I think we learned that we still have a lot of work to do in the off-season to get ready for the spring, but we also learned that we can definitely compete with everyone in our conference,” Cross said. The players are more concerned about how the team fares as a whole than how athletes fare individually. “The Liberty League Championships is a team tournament, so the only thing that really mattered this weekend was our team result,” Cross said. “Placing sixth as a team, although higher than our seed, was not what we were looking for. Despite the results, I think that the team, in general, is starting to put things together.”The team’s next match is on Oct. 16 at the Can-Am Invitational.Ogorek can be reached at aogorek@campustimes.org.



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