Eph Tennis History
|2013: Record breaking 6th straight NCAA title|
THE TENNIS EXPERIENCE
Since its inception in 1971, the philosophy of the Williams tennis program is grounded in a team-focused environment and the pursuit of excellence on and off the court. The team dynamic is truly what distinguishes the Williams tennis program. Wonderful friends and a lot of laughter are as much a part of the experience as on-court achievements. Over the years, this dynamic continues to define the team at Williams, both by our own and external recognition. Team members have won accolades such as National Sportswoman of the Year, National Senior Player of the Year, and the ITA National Team Sportsmanship Award for all of college tennis. Academic pursuits are also a priority for every member of the team. Williams tennis has been recognized as an ITA Academic Team for the past ten years and numerous individual players have received academic awards.
The Williams lineup consists of players who enter with strong USTA rankings and years of tournament experience. The team is a close group of highly trained and highly skilled tennis players who work hard to achieve the team’s goals each year. Team members also possess competitive and leadership strengths that are as strong as their physical ones, they value sportsmanship and hard work, and are committed to participating in a team-focused environment. Workouts are designed to develop each player’s tennis potential, mental strengths, and competitive excellence. Practice time is used to strengthen doubles teams, improve singles tactics, and increase power and movement through a strength and conditioning program. Ultimately, the team’s commitment to competitive excellence and each other continues their legacy of success.
8-TIME NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
|2008 NCAA Champs|
The women’s tennis team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament every year since it was first allowed to participate in 1994. In its first NCAA tournament, Williams finished 2nd overall with Julie Greenwood ’96 and Becky (Mallory) Walker’94 capturing the NCAA championship title in doubles. In 1996, Greenwood repeated as doubles champion with partner Porter (Harris) May ’96.
The 2001 team brought the program to new levels by winning its first ever NCAA Championship, a win that was followed in 2002 with the first repeat in women’s Division III tennis history. Most recently, the program reached new heights as a national powerhouse, capturing a 6-peat of NCAA Championships in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013! The program now holds the all-time record for most NCAA Championships won by any DIII women’s tennis program (8) and most matches won in NCAA Tournament (63).
|Eph Banner on
Display in NCAA Hall of Champions
in Indianapolis, IN (May, 2011)
Cary Gibson ’09 and Grace Baljon ’10 made Eph
history by being the first two woman to advance to the finals of
the NCAA Singles Tournament, with Gibson capturing 2nd
place in 2008 and Baljon earning 2nd and the ITA
National Senior Player of the Year honor in 2010. Kristin alotta
'12 was named the ITA Senior Player of the Year in 2012.
In 2009, 2010, 2012 & 2013 Alison Swain was named the NESCAC Coach of the Year. She was also recognized as the ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013. Further, in 2013 Swain was named the ITA/Wilson National Coach of the Year.
Williams now boasts 8 NCAA titles in school history, a 8-2 record in championship title matches, and boasts most NCAA Tournament wins (63) of any women’s NCAA Division III tennis program.
THE COMPETITIVE SEASON
The Williams women’s tennis team competes in both the fall and spring seasons. During the fall, Williams faces the best Division III competition in the Northeast. Williams also competes in a few individual tournaments each fall including the Lindsay Morehouse Invitational. The ITA tournament each fall has been an opportunity for several Williams players to earn All-American honors for winning either the doubles or singles draws. Since the 1990s, 24 Williams players have earned All-American honors.
The off-season of November - January is a time when athletes raise their endurance levels, make technique changes, and increase their strength training programs. Players who do not play a winter sport are encouraged to work on their overall fitness and are able to hit informally indoors.
The spring season, which starts in February, is designed to prepare the team and individuals for national level competition. Highlights of the spring season include a two-week spring break trip to warmer climates in order to train and compete against the top DIII tennis programs from across the country and often top ranked schools in other divisions. The NESCAC is arguably the deepest tennis conference in the country, and the spring season includes numerous dual matches along with the traditional Little Three Championships (“the oldest continuous rivalry in all of college sport”) and the NESCAC Championship Tournament. Williams most recently took home the conference crown in 2011 & 2013. The NCAA Championships culminate the spring season for the Ephs.
The Williams tennis facilities offer the serious tennis player a
place to train throughout the academic year with 18 outdoor hard
courts for practices and matches. In the fall and the spring, the
team has eight indoor courts available. During the winter, the team
has access to four indoor courts in Towne Field House and three
more at a nearby tennis club, Bennington (VT) Tennis Center.
Williams is a terrific option for the student-athlete who wants to continue to improve her tennis game while receiving the best in liberal arts education.
The Torrence M. Hunt