Ephs best Tigers 8-1 to extend their win-streak to five in preparation for NCAA Championship rematch tomorrow

Leah Bush '19
Leah Bush '19

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - With a quick turn-around after a late finish on Saturday evening, the Ephs returned to the University of Mary Washington courts less than 12 hours later, to take on the Tigers of Trinity University. The Ephs again took two out of the three possible doubles points, and then were forced to dig deep in singles, winning three-set affairs on Courts 1 and 2, on their way to sweeping the singles portion and to taking the match by the margin of 8-1.

The Ephs started Sunday morning on the front foot, as the play of Hannah Atkinson and Chloe Henderson won the Ephs the first point of the dual at the number one position. The senior-freshman duo won the first seven games of their doubles pro-set, then briefly let off the gas before finishing off Zoe Kaffen and Marie Lutz 8-2.

Mere minutes later, the Eph pairing on Court 3, Julia Cancio and Emily Zheng, finished off their Tiger opposition, 8-5, for their fourth straight doubles win to start the spring season.

The final doubles point, just like the evening before against Washington and Lee, was very tightly contested, with the winning side eventually determined by a decisive 7-all tiebreaker, after Linda Shin and Mia Gancayco had trailed by a break midway through the match. Though the senior-junior pairing had fought back well, they didn't quite have enough left in the tank for the tiebreaker, as the second of the Kaffen twins, Mary Kaffen, partnered with Liza Southwick, overcame the Ephs, 7-5, to keep the Tigers in the dual going into singles.

In spite of the way the doubles portion concluded, the Tigers could not effectively capitalize on their momentum, as Zoe Kaffen, quickly succumbed to Gancayco at the number three position, 6-1, 6-0.

However Caroline Kutach and Lutz, on Courts 1 and 2 respectively, each put up quite a fight, taking their first sets with 6-4 score-lines on both courts.

Eph first-year, Sydney Myong, was lightning-quick to respond to her first-set setback on Court 2, as she collected 12 of the next 14 games on her way to 6-1, 6-1 second and third sets, pulling the Ephs to within one point of clinching the dual.

Before Bush could also finalize her comeback, Cancio came on and overwhelmed Andrea De Leon at the number four position to clinch the match for the purple and gold. The junior Eph showed little mercy in her swift 6-0, 6-0 win to put the dual out of reach of the Tigers.

A few minutes after Cancio's victory, Bush completed her own comeback. Having lost the first set for the fourth time in-a-row, the sophomore fought back in the second set, 6-2, to level the match score at one-set-apiece. In the decisive third set, the number-one Eph made amends for her shortcomings on Saturday evening by powering past Kutach, 6-4, to stretch the overall dual score to 6-1.

Just like yesterday, the first-years on Courts 5 and 6, Henderson and Zheng, were tasked with padding the score-line for the Ephs, and they did their jobs ever so well. Henderson dominated Ashley DeBauge 6-2, 6-3, before her fellow first-year dismissed Cheyenne Duncan 6-0 and 6-2, to notch the Ephs' 7th and 8th points of the dual.

"It was a quick turnaround from a late night match to early morning today and we handled it well," praised Eph head coach Alison Swain after her team's tough performance. "We were focused and brought good energy. Once again playing with the shortened format and no-ad scoring, our toughness shone through as a strength."

The Ephs will need that same strength and toughness tomorrow when they will take the court against the reigning National Champions and top-ranked team, Emory, in a rematch of the last two national championship bouts. That dual is set to get underway at 11 AM EDT to round off the Ephs' three-day stretch at the University of Mary Washington courts.

Williams 8, Trinity (Texas) 1

  1. Bush, Leah (WILLIAMS) def. Kutach, Caroline (TRINITY) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
  2. Myong, Sydney (WILLIAMS) def. Lutz, Marie (TRINITY) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
  3. Gancayco, Mia (WILLIAMS) def. Kaffen, Zoe (TRINITY) 6-1, 6-0
  4. Cancio, Julia (WILLIAMS) def. De Leon, Andrea (TRINITY) 6-0, 6-0
  5. Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. DeBauge, Ashley (TRINITY) 6-2, 6-3
  6. Zheng, Emily (WILLIAMS) def. Duncan, Cheyenne (TRINITY) 6-0, 6-2
  1. Atkinson, Hannah/Henderson, Chloe (WILLIAMS) def. Kaffen, Zoe/Lutz, Marie (TRINITY) 8-2
  2. Kaffen, Mary/Southwick, Liza (TRINITY) def. Gancayco, Mia/Shin, Linda (WILLIAMS) 8-7(5)
  3. Cancio, Julia/Zheng, Emily (WILLIAMS) def. De Leon, Andrea/Kutach, Caroline (TRINITY) 8-5 

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

Match Notes:
Williams: 5-0, nationally ranked #2, regionally ranked #1 (Northeast)
Trinity (Tx.): 10-7, nationally ranked #17, regionally ranked #5 (West)