The women’s varsity tennis team ended their fall season with a bang, finishing second in the New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association Championships held last weekend at Cornell University. The Yellowjackets totaled 38 points for the tournament, falling short of champion Vassar College with 62 points. New York University came in third place with 30 points.

Most notable was the performance of juniors Colleen Cross and Cassie Webster, who teamed together to win first place in the first doubles flight. After a first round bye, Cross and Webster crushed their second round opponents, Progga Das and Erica Sherman of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 8-3. They next faced Liz Karam and Casey Gillman of St. Lawrence University, whom they beat in a close match, 9-8 (4).

In the final round, Rochester faced long-time rival Vassar and came out on top, defeating Debbie Sharnak and Kelly Graham by a score of 9-8 (8).

“It felt so great to win the first doubles flight,” Cross said. “Cassie and I played very well together and, despite some tough matches, we came out on top. I know [Coach] Anna was very proud of us, as was the rest of the team. We have a lot to look forward to for the spring season.”

The other Rochester doubles teams also performed well in their respective flights. In the second doubles flight, junior Alexa Perry and sophomore Melinda Beckmann advanced to the second round after defeating Meg Cole and Andrea TerBush of SUNY Cortland, 8-6. The duo was defeated in the third round by Krista Romita and Elysa Kliman of Vassar, 8-3.

The Rochester freshman duo of Victoria Wells and Megan Mears advanced to the third round of the third doubles flight. In the first round, they defeated William Smith College’s Connel and Haseotes, 8-5 In the second round they defeated McEvoy and Travis of Skidmore by another 8-5 score. Rochester was defeated by Goheen and Pardoe of Hamilton College in an extremely close match, with a final score of 9-8 (4).

The singles draws were also filled with Rochester victories. In the first singles draw, Cross advanced to the finals earning a second place title. Cross crushed Kara Powers of Hamilton, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round. The second round was more difficult, but Cross prevailed over Caroline Caillet of Rochester Institute of Technology, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6. Amanda Husson of SUNY Cortland was Cross’s victim in the third round, falling by a score of 6-3, 6-3. In the final round, Cross was defeated by Sharnak of Vassar, 6-4, 6-0.

Both Webster and Perry also advanced to the final round of their respective draws, each earning a second place title.

In the second singles draw, Webster defeated Natalie Fernandez of Cortland, 6-0, 6-1, in the first round, Brianne Francisco of Rochester Institute of Technology, 6-1, 6-0, in the second round and Rachel Leonard of Nazareth College 6-4, 6-4, in the third round. Graham of Vassar defeated Webster in the final round, 6-1, 6-1.

Perry won her opening match over Betsy O’Brian of Nazareth, 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-1. She went on to defeat Jenny Grabler of Skidmore, 7-5, 6-1, and TerBush of Cortland 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Perry lost in the final round to Nicole Pontee, 6-0, 6-2.

Wells lost in the first round of the sixth singles flight, while Beckmann advanced to the second round of the fourth singles draw and Mears advanced to the third round of the fifth singles flight.

Overall it was an extremely successful weekend for the Yellowjackets, and the girls were extremely proud of their success.

“We could not have asked for a better ending to our fall season,” Beckmann said. “Most of the matches we played were very close, each of the girls decided to leave everything they had out on the court and we came home with a trophy. Everyone just did a great job!”

The ‘Jackets will return next spring for the remainder of their season. With the success they’ve had thus far, the women’s varsity tennis team is the new team to watch.

Sall is a member of the class of 2008.

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