With No. 1 singles player and junior Lia Weiner away at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Nationals, the Yellowjackets stepped up to the plate at New York State Division III Women’s Championships in Ithaca, N.Y. the team placed two draws in the final rounds and one in the semifinals, two more than the team placed last year. But, the ‘Jackets couldn’t conquer Vassar College’s strong showing in the finalist rounds.
Freshman Frances Tseng won decisively over her first singles competitors from St. John Fisher University and Nazareth College; she likewise triumphed over second-seeded Danika Robison of Skidmore College, 6-3, 6-4.
In the finalist round, Tseng lost 3-6, 2-6 to top-seeded Nicole Pontee of Vassar.
The Yellowjackets’ other finalists sophomores Jamie Bow and Danielle Shreck played in the second doubles drawing. They came together with good communication and a positive attitude, despite having little experience competing as partners this season.
Bow and Shreck, who paired up for the first time in over a year, had no idea what to expect at Ithaca, but they still handed defeats to three schools.
Entering the tournament unseeded, Bow and Shreck surprised second- and third-seeded opponents from Skidmore College and New York University with 8-5 wins both games.
‘Since we were not seeded, we had no pressure to win, and I think we capitalized on this well,” Bow said. ‘This allowed us to go into our matches relaxed, which was key for both of us.”
The duo, though, lost in its last round to top-seeded Vassar College players, 8-5.
UR’s finalists weren’t the only players who fell to Vassar. Tseng and sophomore Alex Godman were defeated by Vassar in the semifinals of their first doubles flight, 9-7. The Brewers, a ‘tough team” according to Nielsen, placed four players in the top bracket and three in the final round.
‘We were pleased with the way the team competed despite everyone having to play at a higher position than they had all season,” Nielsen said.
Meanwhile, in Mobile, Ala., Weiner came in sixth place, falling from fifth in a final exciting round against Kathryn Schmidt of Carleton College. Each of the games came down to tiebreakers.
The men’s tennis team finished their fall season on Oct. 11. They had two first-round winners at ITA regionals but did not send any players to nationals. The teams are now on hiatus and will resume game play in February.
Leber is a member of the class of 2011.