WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The three day Oracle ITA New England Regional Women's Tennis Championship came to a close today as champions were crowned in both singles and doubles. Though Ephs appeared in both the singles semifinals and doubles finals, it was Wesleyan that secured titles in both brackets. Wesleyan's Eudice Chong emerged victorious in the singles bracket and then went on to pair up with partner Victoria Yu and earn the doubles title for the second straight year. Chong was the top seeded singles player, and alongside Yu was the number one doubles seed.
"Losing in the semis and finals today looks disappointing on paper, especially considering the grind of mental toughness it took to get these opportunities," said first-year Head Coach Anik Cepeda at the conclusion of the tournament. "And then zoom out. We staged upsets, competed fiercely against some of the strongest players in D3 Women's Tennis, and have a laundry list of areas where we'd like to continue growing our games.
The day began with the singles semifinals. At the start of play, Chong, Juli Raventos '18, Leah Bush '19, and Camille Smukler of Amherst remained. Raventos was the third seed, Bush the sixth, and Smukler the fourth.
Chong and Raventos had history on the court, having faced each other in last year's ITA Regional Championship final in both singles and doubles. Raventos took the singles title, and Chong and Yu the doubles. This year, however, only one could make it to the singles finals as the two met in the semis. Both are now seniors. In a three set battle, Chong secured the first set 6-1 but dropped the second 5-7. She bounced back in the third set 6-2 to secure the win and a spot in the finals.
Bush, a junior, and Smukler, a sophomore, squared off for the second spot in the finals. Smukler earned it in two sets, 6-3, 6-4. The finals then came down to Chong and Smukler, the first seed against the fourth. After winning the first set 6-1, Chong swept the second 6-0 to earn the win and the championship.
The doubles finals featured Chong and Yu against Raventos and partner Julia Cancio, a senior. Chong and Yu earned a win in the first set 6-2 but had to battle through tie-breakers in the second set to secure the championship. They eventually emerged victorious with a 7-6(5) victory in the second set.
"Losing is great," said Cepeda. "It's humbling and productive. We have fuel for the next two weeks and will continue to explore the most helpful mindset to get us there."
In exhibition matches, Ksoosha (xoo-sha) Ramras, a first-year, fell to Amherst's Maddie Dewire by a score of 6-1, 6-0. Wesleyan's Zoe Klass-Warch, a senior, overcame Korina Neveux '19 8-1, but sophomore Emily Zheng defeated Wesleyan first-year Alissa Nakamoto 8-3.
"Congrats to Wesleyan on a fantastic tournament and a big thank you to all the Williams supporters and tournament staff who made it happen," concluded coach Cepeda.
After a long weekend of tennis, the Ephs will have three weeks to prepare before the Middlebury Invite on October 22nd. That marks the conclusion of the Fall portion of the season. The Spring season begins on March 23rd against Chicago in Claremont, California.
Complete Results - ITA Regional Championship Day 3: