SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The Ephs finished off their weekend stay in upstate New York on Sunday with a visit to Skidmore College, looking to extend their record against the Thoroughbreds to seven wins in as many years. Although the Thoroughbreds were able to keep things close through the doubles portion, the Ephs' superiority showed through during singles, as the purple and gold claimed all six points to cap off a successful spring opening weekend.
Unlike on Saturday, however, the Ephs were pegged back in the doubles match next off the court, as the Thoroughbreds at the number two position, Brianna Greene and Ada Wiggins, staved off a late comeback from Sydney Myong and Linda Shin. The green and yellow found themselves up 6-3 after nine games, but then the Eph freshman-senior duo clawed back to 6-7, before dropping the next game to fall 8-6, as Greene and Wiggins leveled the overall dual score.
With the overall advantage going into singles on the line in the final doubles match, the other freshman-senior Eph pair of Chloe Henderson and Hannah Atkinson came through for the Ephs on Court 1. With the two pairs trading blows tit-for-tat all the way to 5-all, it was at that point that the Ephs chose to strike, recording the next three games on-the-spin to give the Ephs the 2-1 advantage going into singles.
Riding the high of their late doubles success, the Ephs stampeded into singles, and trampled the Thoroughbreds to secure their victory, before Skidmore could dig into the matches. Shin, Atkinson, and Mia Gancayco all notched wins over their opponents on Courts 2, 3, and 4 respectively to decide the match in the Ephs' favor.
Still with plenty to play for, the Thoroughbreds bullishly sought their second point of the match at the number one position, as Leah Bush was given another three-set test on Sunday, this time by Wiggins of Skidmore.
The first-year out of Burlington, Massachusetts gave the sophomore Eph more than she chould handle in the first set. With momentum sea-sawing back and forth several times, the host masterminded a 5-3 lead, before the Floridian fought back to 5-all, only to watch Wiggins win the next two games to take the first set 7-5. Bush was not discouraged, however, as she wasted little time in the second set asserting her dominance, and quickly found herself back on level terms with a 6-1 second set. With the match outcome already decided, Bush played a match-tiebreaker in lieu of a full third set for the second day in-a-row, and again she triumphed, this time by a 10-5 margin.
Inspired by the Ephs' sixth point of the afternoon, Cancio and Henderson polished off the Ephs' victory by monopolizing the remaining two singles matches, putting an emphasis on the match with 6-3, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-1 score-lines respectively on Court 5 and Court 6.
"Playing Skidmore before spring break is always a very good match for us," commented Eph head coach Alison Swain after her team's success, choosing to praise her team's flexibility and resilience in the face of several difficult match-ups. "When matches were close, we adapted and stayed calm and determined. I think with each match we play the team is gaining competitive confidence."
This growing confidence will be ever-so-important starting next weekend, when the Ephs take flight for Virginia and then California on their spring break trip, involving eight matches in a two-week span, including matches against several of the best teams in the country.
Their next match - and the first of that trip - will be against Washington and Lee, on the campus of Mary Washington University, next Saturday, March 18th at 4:30 PM EDT.
Williams 8, Skidmore 1
- Bush, Leah (WILLIAMS) def. Wiggins, Ada (SKIDMORE) 5-7, 6-1, 1-0(5)
- Shin, Linda (WILLIAMS) def. Benn, Madie (SKIDMORE) 6-4, 6-1
- Atkinson, Hannah (WILLIAMS) def. Fuca, Michelle (SKIDMORE) 6-0, 6-3
- Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) def. Karchere-Sun, Renee (SKIDMORE) 6-3, 6-1
- Cancio, Julia (WILLIAMS) def. Greene, Brianna (SKIDMORE) 6-3, 6-1
- Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Ampel, Jessica (SKIDMORE) 6-2, 6-1
- Atkinson, Hannah/Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Benn, Madie/Fuca, Michelle (SKIDMORE) 8-5
- Greene, Brianna/Wiggins, Ada (SKIDMORE) def. Myong, Sydney/Shin, Linda (WILLIAMS) 8-6
- Cancio, Julia/Zheng, Emily (WILLIAMS) def. Ampel, Jessica/Korchese-Sun, Renee(SKIDMORE) 8-1
Order of Finish:
Singles - 3, 4, 2, 1, 6, 5
Doubles - 3, 2, 1
Williams: 3-0; nationally ranked #2; regionally ranked #1
Skidmore: 6-2; nationally ranked #28; regionally ranked #8