MIDDLEBURY, VT—The Williams women's tennis team started postseason play in an encouraging way Saturday in a 5-0 win over Tufts.
Because Williams had received a bye through the first round of the NESCAC tournament, the result puts them through to the final against rival Amherst. Amherst defeated Middlebury 5-3, also on Saturday.
As the second seed, Williams came in the favorite over the Jumbos, and up and down the board played to that level.
The #1 doubles squad of Nikki Reich and Lucy Marchese took care of business 8-3, while the junior tandem of Taylor French and Kristin Alotta won 8-2. Kathleen Elkins and Caroline Capute increased the Eph lead with an 8-3 win at #3.
"Today was a really dominating performance," Alotta said "and it started with sweeping all three doubles. That's something we haven't done much of this season but we have really been building our doubles confidence lately."
The match was played to decision because of postseason play, meaning Williams needed just two victories in singles to end all play for the day. Nancy Worley (6-2, 6-1) at #2 and Marchese (6-0, 6-3) at #3 earned domineering wins to close out the afternoon.
Coach Allison Swain was pleased with the way her team came out in the singles matches, playing aggressively knowing that a victory was within reach. "This past week we have been focusing on playing confident, aggressive tennis at big moments in matches. I was really impressed with how each player was able to transfer this to today."
Williams was winning in all four unfinished matches as well, with Alotta (6-3, 3-4), Elkins (6-3, 3-6, 2-0) Capute (6-2, 5-4), and Shoemaker (6-4, 5-0) in control. I was really proud of how everyone came out tough and visibly ready to be the final point," Alotta said in conclusion. "That's something that will be really important as we move into the final few weeks."
1. Reich/Marchese def. Browne/Bowman 8-3
2. French/Alotta def. Flynn/Katz 8-2
3. Elkins/Capute def. Gann/Lam 8-3
2. Worley def. Katz 6-2, 6-1
3. Marchese def. Bowman 6-0, 6-3