Ephs kick-start spring season with 9-0 triumph over Hamilton

Ephs kick-start spring season with 9-0 triumph over Hamilton

CLINTON, N.Y. - The Eph women opened their spring campaign on Saturday afternoon with a trip into eastern-New York to the campus of NESCAC foe, Hamilton College. Winless in all four of their meetings all-time against the Ephs, the Continentals were unable to reverse their fortunes and notch their first program win against the purple and gold, as the Ephs coasted to a 9-0 runout in their first dual since October.

In the doubles portion the Ephs jumped out to a 2-0 lead at a lightning-quick pace, recording wins on Court 1 and Court 3.

Hannah Atkinson and Chloe Henderson felled their Continental counterparts at the number one position without dropping a game, and their victory was shortly followed by that of Leah Bush and Mia Gancayco in the number three position, who conceded just a single game on the way to doubling the Ephs' early lead.

The third doubles point was a much tighter affair, however, and the Ephs had to grind out a 9-7 score-line to the bitter end to solidify their 3-0 advantage going into singles.

The Continental duo of Claire Keyte and Samantha Weeks kept pace with the junior-freshman pairing of Julia Cancio and Emily Zheng all the way to 7-7, but could not push the contest to an 8-all tiebreaker, failing to collect either of the following two games, as the Ephs celebrated their doubles sweep.

With their confidence building, the singles portion was more of the same from the Ephs, who claimed the necessary two points to assure themselves of an opening-day victory with straight-set wins from Cancio and Gancayco on Court 4 and Court 3. Just like during doubles, Ephs on the first two matches off the courts combined to lose only one game, as Cancio finished her match flawless and Gancayco had only the one-game blemish.

The Ephs were not done there, however, as first-year Sydney Myong followed suit moments after Gancayco clinched the match for the Ephs with a win of her own at the number two position, downing Winnie Tang in two sets, 6-0, 6-2.

With the matches on Court 5 and Court 6 quickly slipping away from the blue and buff, their best chance at getting on the board fell to Claire Keyte, who jumped out to an early advantage, after taking the first set off her opponent, Bush, 6-1. Bush responded well from the early setback, however, and turned things around in the second set, returning a 6-2 score-line to the Continental senior. With the overall match outcome already determined, the players played a match-tiebreaker in lieu of a full 3rd set, and Bush rode her second-set momentum all the way to the finish line, cantering to a 10-3 result in the tiebreaker.

"It felt good to play our first match of the spring," reflected Eph head coach Alison Swain after the match. "I thought we battled our nerves and some good adjustments by our opponents, and we stayed determined and positive throughout the match today."

On the remaining two courts, both Chloe Henderson and Carmen Saab saw off their opponents to polish off the Ephs' 9-0 margin, confirming the Ephs' perfect start to the spring season and sending them on their way to Saratoga Springs to take on non-conference Skidmore with a spring in their step. Sunday's dual is set to get underway at 11 AM EDT.

Williams 9, Hamilton 0

  1. Bush, Leah (WILLIAMS) def. Keyte, Claire (HAMILTON) 1-6, 6-2, 1-0(3)
  2. Myong, Sydney (WILLIAMS) def. Tang, Winnie (HAMILTON) 6-0, 6-2
  3. Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) def. Haffer, Jane (HAMILTON) 6-1, 6-0
  4. Cancio, Julia (WILLIAMS) def. Weeks, Samantha (HAMILTON) 6-0, 6-0
  5. Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Forrester, Iona (HAMILTON) 6-2, 3-0 (retired)
  6. Saab, Carmen (WILLIAMS) def. Morse, Claudia (HAMILTON) 6-1, 6-1
  1. Atkinson, Hannah/Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Haffer, Jane/Tang, Winnie (HAMILTON) 8-0
  2. Cancio, Julia/Zheng, Emily (WILLIAMS) def. Keyte, Claire/Weeks, Samantha (HAMILTON) 9-7
  3. Bush, Leah/Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) def. Morse, Claudia/Forrester, Iona (HAMILTON) 8-1

Order of Finish:
Singles - 4, 3, 2, 5, 1, 6
Doubles – 1, 3, 2 

Match Notes:
Williams 2-0, NESCAC 1-0; nationally ranked #2; regionally ranked #1
Hamilton 3-1, NESCAC 0-1; regionally ranked #14