WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Play moved inside on a rainy day on the campus of Williams College as The Oracle ITA New England Regional Women's Tennis Championship continued into its second day. At start of play, sixteen singles contenders remained of the original 64-player bracket, and eight doubles teams remained out of 32. Day 3 will feature the conclusion of the tournament as just four players in singles and two doubles teams remain. Two of the four singles semi-finalists and one of the finalist doubles teams are Ephs.
"Today was impressive," said Williams Head Coach Anik Cepeda. "At one point I looked up and there was a Williams player on every indoor court, battling and focused. Teammates were cheering from start to finish. I almost forgot this was an individual tournament – it didn't feel that way. Once again we showed resiliency and belief in our games."
The singles semifinals will feature the number one seed Eudice Chong, a senior from Wesleyan University. To earn that spot, she overcame Babson's Alexa Tutecky, seeded 9-16, and Williams' Rachel Cross, a first year. In the first round Cross, not featured in the top 16, had upset Maisie Silverman from Bates, seeded 9-16. Facing Chong will be last year's champion Juli Raventos, a senior and this year's third seed. The two met in the finals of 2016's ITA Tournament in both singles and doubles with Raventos taking the singles title and Chong the doubles alongside partner Victoria Yu. Yu was seeded second in singles coming into the tournament, but was upset by sophomore Chloe Henderson of Williams in the second round of Day 1.
Also hoping to secure a spot in the finals will be Amherst's Camille Smukler, a sophomore. The fourth seed, Smukler squared up against Mia Gancayco, a senior from Williams seeded 9-16, in the quarter finals. After dropping the first set 5-7, she bounced back to even the score with a victory 6-3. A tie-breaker third set battle resulted in a Smukler victory (10-7). On Day 3, she will contend with another Williams competitor: Leah Bush, a junior and the sixth seed. Bush overcame opponents from Amherst, Wesleyan, and two from Middlebury on her path to the semis. In the quarter finals against Middlebury's Catherine Blayze, Bush battled through tie-breakers in every set. After dropping the first set 6-7(5), she won the next two 7-6(3), (11-9).
The first and second seeds in doubles will square off in the finals on Day 3. Eudice Chong and Victoria Yu, last year's championship team, are set to face off against Juli Raventos and teammate Julia Cancio, both seniors at Williams College. En-route to a spot in the finals, Raventos and Cancio had to contend with fifth seeded Vickie Ip and Jen Chen, a senior/sophomore duo from Amherst. After an 8-4 victory, Raventos and Cancio squared up against their teammates Chloe Henderson '20 and Rachel Cross '21, the fourth seed. The upperclassmen emerged victorious by a score of 9-7. Chong and Yu did not face any of the top 8 seeded teams on their path to the finals after Lauren Louks and Otilia Popa, a fifth seed from Tufts, and Middlebury sophomores Katherine Hughes and Skylar Schossberger, the third seed, both fell in the second round on Day 1.
With two singles semi-finalists and a doubles finalist, coach Cepeda could not have asked for more from her team. "The results are nice," she said, "But I'm honestly most impressed with the attitude and the camaraderie. Looking forward to the last day of the tournament and the opportunity to represent Williams College at home."
Complete Results - ITA Regional Championship Day 2: