The UR women’s tennis team concluded its fall season this past weekend, finishing seventh in the New York State Women’s Collegiate Athletic Association Tennis Championships, hosted by Ithaca College. Competing for the ‘Jackets were seniors Colleen Cross and Alexa Perry, junior Melinda Beckmann and freshmen Nisha Javeri, Elana Polivy, Diane Samuels and Lia Weiner.
The NYSWCAA Tennis Championship is a highly competitive annual event featuring top players from 16 New York State colleges and universities. The 3-day contest consists of six singles tournaments with 16 players and three doubles tournaments with 16 two-player teams per tournament. Each of the 16 schools participating sends one player per singles tournament and one team per doubles tournament. Players and teams score points for their schools by winning matches and moving on to later rounds against stronger competition.
While the seventh-place team finish was modest, UR received exceptional individual performances from multiple team members.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the competition for UR was the performance of Weiner in the first singles tournament. Weiner, competing as the No. 2 seed, won her first-round match last Friday morning without dropping a game. On Saturday, Weiner defeated her next two opponents in straight sets (6-2, 6-1 and 6-2, 7-5) to reach the first singles finals on Sunday. On Sunday, Weiner fell to No. 1 seed Nicole Pontee of Vassar College to take home second-place honors. Weiner dropped the final match, but not before racking up major team points for the ‘Jackets.
“I wanted to do really well in singles,” Weiner said. “I’m really happy with how I did, but of course I did want to win the whole thing. The girl I lost to in the finals was a very good, smart player.”
Perry also enjoyed success this past weekend. The senior reached the semifinals in both the third singles tournament and the second doubles tournament.
In the singles competition, Perry won first- and second-round match-ups in straight sets before falling to No. 1 seed Kelly Barnett of Vassar in the semis. In doubles competition, Perry and Polivy beat duos from Elmira College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before losing to a No. 1-seeded Vassar tandem.
“I was glad I maintained a high level of performance,” Perry said. “It was important to me to earn as many points as I could for my team. My personal goal was to win each of my brackets. Unfortunately I ran into the No. 1 seeds in the semifinals of both.”
Also scoring team points for the ‘Jackets with first-round victories were Polivy in the fourth singles tournament, Samuels in the sixth singles tournament and the twosome of Eckmann and Javeri in the third doubles tournament. UR finished with 20 points. First-place Vassar finished with 50.
Perry noted that the team did not perform as well as it had hoped, as UR finished second in the same tournament a year ago, but also credited this year’s competition.
“The level of play from all the teams rose tremendously from last year,” Perry said.
This tournament marked the end of the fall season for the women’s tennis team. Participation in the State Championships will undoubtedly serve the ‘Jackets well in the future.
“I think that this tournament was a great way to give our freshmen some experience with college match play,” Perry said. “We have some great new and returning talent on the team, and I think we will have a lot of success in our spring season.”
Juron is a member of the class of 2008.