Unable to build momentum from success against LeMoyne two weeks ago, the women’s tennis team struggled against their following opponents.

During the weekend of April 1 and 2, UR lost to Wheaton College 6-3 and Brandeis University 9-0.

Their opponents were formidable. Wheaton is ranked 18 in the Northeast Regional rankings and 23 in the National rankings. Brandeis has twice as many upperclassmen players with experience than the Yellowjackets.

UR could not defeat the more experienced Wheaton players. Freshman Colleen Cross lost to Ashley Kriwinsky 6-0, 6-3, while freshman Shivani Kumar also failed to prevail against Jamie Weiss, losing 6-0, 6-0. Junior Jaymi Della put up a good fight, losing to Maris Madeira 6-4, 6-3.

Both junior Tessa Baker and sophomore Dana Sall did not find the rhythm they needed in their singles matches. Baker almost brought her match against Briana Jackson of Wheaton to a third set, but quickly smothered the move, beating her in the second match tiebreaker 7-5. Sall lost to Maya Milic-Strkalj, 6-0, 6-2.

There was some success in the doubles bracket. Freshman Alexa Perry and Baker defeated Eden Gudonis and Jackson 8-3. Della and freshman Vera Yakovchenko played their A-game on Friday, defeating Milic-Strkalj and Jessica Otto 9-8.

Perry also brought some hope to the team, winning the only singles match the Yellowjackets competed in over the weekend. Although she missed several games and significant practice over spring break, Perry was able to beat Gudonis 6-1, 6-3.

The setting at which UR played was inconvenient and uncomfortable. Perry was certainly displeased.

“Having to play after a six-hour bus ride was not easy,” Perry said. “We left at 9 a.m. and Wheaton was our first match that Friday at 5 p.m.”

Having to play Brandeis the morning after their match against Wheaton hindered the Yellowjackets from playing at the top of their game.

Cross failed to beat Brandeis senior Abby Lerner, losing 6-2, 6-1.

Kumar almost pulled off a singles win against Jen Krueger, but couldn’t pull out the win in the first set tiebreaker. The final score was 7-6, 6-4.

Cross was not discouraged by the loss against Brandeis, saying, “If we get another shot to play [Brandeis], I’m sure that we’ll pull out some wins.”

Perry almost secured another singles match when she faced off against Shani Reich who has two years of college experience over UR. Perry stayed tough till the very end, almost facing elimination in the second set. Despite the emergence of stomach problems, Perry played the third set in a super tiebreaker. The final score was 6-2, 6-7 (4), 10-6.

“I feel that if I had played out the third set I might have been able to pull of a win for the team,” Perry said. “It was a tough loss.”

See TENNIS, Page 21

Cross added, “We’re coming off a tough weekend, so hopefully that will motivate us to get some good wins in our dual matches.”

The Yellowjackets did not fare much better this past weekend, once again having to face top-ranking teams. They lost to William Smith College, 7-2, St. Lawrence University, 5-4, and Skidmore College 7-2. All three opponents were ranked in the top 25 in the Northeast Region.

It was a tough battle for all UR players against William Smith. Yakovchenko missed a win by a small margin, losing to Cory Turner 7-6 (7-3), 6-3. Sall also met the same fate in a close match against Erinn Cain, losing 6-1, 4-6, 10-7. Perry continued her successful singles play at number three against Sarah Coggin 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles play remained strong for UR. Even with the absence of doubles partner Kumar, Cross partnered up with Sall to easily defeat Molly Patterson and Tara Ware, 8-2. The other two doubles matches remained close. The Yellowjackets lost with scores of 8-6 and 8-5 in the end.

The team fell just short of pulling out a win against the veteran team of St. Lawrence. Cross quickly defeated Anne Moulin, 6-2, 6-2, while Della pulled through with a close win against Courtney Ellie, 6-3, 7-5.

Doubles matches were exciting and extraordinarily close. Cross and Kumar narrowly defeated Moulin and Kristen Cannon by a final score of 9-8 (11-9). Yakovchenko and Della combined their efforts to defeat Bernier and Mez Terrin in a gruesome match with a final score 9-8 (7-4). These close scores reflected the perseverance that this young team has developed so far.

Despite lack of success over the past two weekends, UR came back with a vengeance on Monday, sweeping the women’s team at Kueka College 9-0. In the nine matches, UR conceded only nine games out of the 105 that were played.

Let’s hope the Yellowjackets will continue their strong doubles play and build off their success from Kueka at the University Athletic Association championships this weekend at Brandeis.

Troyer can be reached at mtroyer@campustimes.org.

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