WILLIAMSTOWN -- When Amherst and Williams meet in any sport, a hard-fought contest is sure to ensue. The tension only heightens when the teams are ranked one and two in the country. Sunday's match between #1 Williams and #2 Amherst was no different story.
Starting outdoors on a grey, chilly day, Amherst got off to a hot start. Their number one doubles team of Jordan Brewer and Laura Danzig took out Kara Shoemaker and Taylor French soundly, 8-1. Williams' number two team of Kathleen Elkins and Kristin Alotta evened the score at 1, taking their match 8-5.
Then came the rain, and a move to Williams' indoor facility. When play resumed, Gabby Devlin and Caroline Richman of Amherst were able to edge Caroline Capute and Rebecca Curran 9-7 to take a 2-1 lead into singles play.
Amherst's Laura Danzig was first off court with a three-set win over Kara Shoemaker to give the Jeffs a 3-1 lead.
Kristin Alotta, needing a win to become only the second player in Williams history with 100 singles victories, stepped up when it mattered most. After losing her first set 6-0, she dug in to take the second set 6-3, and finished the job with another 6-3 win in the third set. Only Alotta and Kate Troy '04 have reached the 100-win plateau at Williams. Troy finised with 102 career singles wins.
Nancy Worley then lost for the Ephs in a close three sets, leaving Amherst only one point away from victory.
Kathleen Elkins won her first set at number four 6-2, but lost the second in a tiebreaker. With her team relying her third set result, she stepped up and delivered a 6-0 win to clinch her match.
Rebecca Curran had a sound 6-3, 6-0 win to draw the match even.
The score stood at 4-4, with only the number six players left on court. Eph captain Caroline Capute had dropped her first set to Amherst's Safi Aly, but battled back to take the second set 6-3. Capute finished well, taking the crucial third set 6-2, to clinch the match for Williams.
"I'm particularly proud of our seniors today for really leading this team on and off the court through this match, said a satisfied Alison Swain after the match. "Amherst is a great team and this rivalry continually brings out the best in both of our squads,"
Williams continues its spring season in two weeks, when they take on both Skidmore (11:00 AM) and Copnnecticut College (4:00 PM) at home.
1. Brewer/Danzig (A) def Shoemaker/French (W) 8-1
2. Elkins/Alotta (W) def Pangalos/Newman (A) 8-5
3. Devlin/Richman (A) def Capute/Curran (W) 9-7
1. Alotta (W) def Brewer (A) 0-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Danzig (A) def Shoemaker (W) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
3. Newman (A) def Worley (W) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
4. Elkins (W) def Richman (A) 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-0
5. Curran (W) def Pangalos (A) 6-3, 6-0
6. Capute (W) def Aly (A) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2