Williams women set to host NESCAC Tournament May 5 through 7

Williams women set to host NESCAC Tournament May 5 through 7



Middlebury 5, Bowdoin 2

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The top two seeds of the 2017 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship entered the fray on Saturday afternoon in the semifinal round, with the first of the two duals seeing the top-seeded Panthers of Middlebury College take on the fifth-seeded Polar Bears of Bowdoin College and Middlebury emerging victorious, 5-2.

The top-seeded Panthers (14-3) advance to the championship match Sunday at 1 p.m. against second seeded Williams (14-4). 

The Panthers dominated the early-goings in doubles, quickly claiming two of the three doubles points, thanks to the work of Catherine Blazye and Kaysee Orozco, who defeated Tess Trinka and Tasha Christ, 8-4, as well as Skylar Schossberger and Katherine Hughes, who bested Joulia Likhanskaia and Sam Stalder by the same margin.

The Panthers, however, could not polish off what could have been a sweep of doubles. Up 7-4 and 8-7 in the final doubles match, Alexandra Fields and Christina Puccinelli could not finish the job on Court 3, as Pilar Giffenig and Sasa Jovanovic came charging back to force an 8-all tiebreaker, and completing their comeback with an 8-6 win to get teh Polar Bears on the board.

The Panthers didn't dwell long on their blip from the third doubles match, and they came again looking the superior side in singles.

Quick wins on Courts 2 and 3, from Puccinelli and Heather Boehm respectively, saw the Panthers draw to within one of clinching their spot in the NESCAC Championship on Sunday, but the Polar Bears began to fight back, with Likhanskaia tallying the Polar Bears' second point of the dual with her 7-5, 6-3 win over Fields on Court 1.

Middlebury's Molly Paradies concluded the match when she won the first set 6-3 against Bowdoin's Pilar Giffenig. She took a 4-2 lead in the second set before Giffenig won three straight games to go up 5-4. Paradies rallied to win the next three games to win 7-5 and give the Panthers the win.

Middlebury 4, Bowdoin 1

  1. Hughes, Katherine/Schossberger, Skylar (MIDDLEBURY) def. Likhanskaia, Joulia/Stalder, Sam (BOWDOIN) 8-4
  2. Blazye, Catherine/Orozco, Kaysee (MIDDLEBURY) def. Christ, Tasha/Trinka, Tess (BOWDOIN) 8-4
  3. Giffenig, Pilar/Jovanovic, Sasa (BOWDOIN) def. Fields, Alexandra/Puccinelli, Christina (MIDDLEBURY) 9-8(6)
  1. Likhanskaia, Joulia (BOWDOIN) def. Fields, Alexandra (MIDDLEBURY) 7-5, 6-3
  2. Puccinelli, Christina (MIDDLEBURY) def. Trinka, Tess (BOWDOIN) 6-2, 6-0
  3. Boehm, Heather (MIDDLEBURY) def. Stalder, Sam (BOWDOIN) 6-1, 6-1
  4. Blazye, Catherine (MIDDLEBURY) vs. Christ, Tasha (BOWDOIN) 6-5, uf
  5. Paradies, Molly (MIDDLEBURY) vs. Giffenig, Pilar (BOWDOIN) 6-3, 7-5
  6. Stow, Maddi (MIDDLEBURY) vs. Jovanovic, Sasa (BOWDOIN) 4-3, uf

Order of Finish:
Doubles - 2, 1, 3
Singles - 3, 2, 1, 5

Match Notes:
Middlebury: 14-3, nationally ranked #2, regionally ranked #1 (Northeast)
Bowdoin: 14-5, nationally ranked #8, regionally ranked #5 (Northeast)

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The final spot in the semifinals of the 2017 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship was decided late on Friday night, as the third-seeded Jumbos of Tufts University took on the sixth-seeded Mammoths of Amherst College. After the Jumbos eked out a 5-4 regular season victory over the Mammoths, the blue and brown repeated their triumph on Saturday night with a 5-1 win to book their place in Saturday's semifinal against hosts, Williams College.

Though all three doubles matches were each decided by a two-game margin, the Jumbos took all three points, leaving the rival Mammoths with a steep hole to climb their way out of in singles.

Connor Calabro and Alexa Meltzer struck first on behalf of the Jumbos, as they outlasted Megan Adamo and Claire Carpenter of Amherst on Court 3, 8-6, just moments before their fellow Jumbos, Tomo Iwasaki and Otilia Popa, defeated Anya Ivenitsky and Avery Wagman, 9-7, on Court 2. The Mammoths fell in the final match in a similar fashion, as Mina Karamercan and Lauren Louks secured the 3-0 lead for the Jumbos with an 8-6 win on Court 1 over Kelsey Chen and Camille Smukler.

With plenty of ground to make up for in singles, the Mammoths continued to struggle, and saw themselves drop three of four first sets of the initial wave of singles players.

Katherine Wiley on Court 4 consolidated her 6-3 first set win over Camille Trapness, with a 6-1 second set to pull the Jumbos to within one point of the requisite five.

However, the Mammoths began to turn the tide thereafter, as Smukler bested Karamercan on Court 1, after two hard-fought 7-5 and 6-4 sets to record the Mammoths' first point of the evening.

Buyoed by Smukler's success, the Mammoths on Courts 2 and 6 fought back valiantly in their respective sets after each dropped their first sets to Jumbo opposition.

Chen was slow to start in her match agianst Louks on Court 2, as the former only managed to win one of the first seven games, finding herself down a set early on in the proceedings. However, the Mammoth sophomore came to life in the second set, and reversed the first-set score-line in her own favor, leveling her match with Louks at one-set-apiece. The two traded blows in the third set with Chen coming within one game of securing the Mammoths' second point at 5-4. However, Amherst's comeback aspirations came screeching to a halt, when Louks managed to string together the final three games of the match to clinch the dual for the Jumbos, 7-5 in the third set.

With the win, the Jumbos will how have a chance at revenge tomorrow, when they take on the Ephs, who defeated them 7-2 in their regular-season dual just one week ago. That match is tentatively set to get underway at 1 PM EDT on Saturday afternoon.

Tufts 5, Amherst 1

  1. Karamercan, Mina/Louks, Lauren (TUFTS) def. Chen, Kelsey/Smukler, Camille (AMHERST) 8-6
  2. Iwasaki, Tomo/Popa, Otilia (TUFTS) def. Ivenitsky, Anya/Wagman, Avery (AMHERST) 9-7
  3. Calabro, Connor/Meltzer, Alexa (TUFTS) def. Adamo, Megan/Carpenter, Claire (AMHERST) 8-6
  1. Smukler, Camille (AMHERST) def. Karamercan, Mina (TUFTS) 7-5, 6-4
  2. Louks, Lauren (TUFTS) def. Chen, Kelsey (AMHERST) 6-1, 1-6, 7-5
  3. Iwasaki, Tomo (TUFTS) vs. Ivenitsky, Anya (AMHERST) 3-2 DNF
  4. Wiley, Katherine (TUFTS) def. Trapness, Camille (AMHERST) 6-3, 6-1
  5. Meltzer, Alexa (TUFTS) vs. Adamo, Megan (AMHERST) 1-2 DNF
  6. Calabro, Connor (TUFTS) vs. Wagman, Avery (AMHERST) 6-1, 4-6, 2-1 DNF

Order of Finish:
Doubles - 3, 2, 1
Singles - 4, 1, 2

Match Notes:
Tufts: 14-5, nationally ranked #6, regionally ranked #3 (Northeast)
Amherst: 6-9, nationally ranked #12, regionally ranked #6 (Northeast)


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The opening dual of the 2017 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship saw the fourth-seeded Cardinals of Wesleyan University take on the fifth-seeded Polar Bears of Bowdoin College for a spot in Saturday's semifinal tilt with the top-seeded Panthers of Middlebury College. Four hours and twenty-two minutes later, the Polar Bears were the team left standing, as they progressed past the nationally seventh-ranked Cardinals, 5-3.

In spite of their overall victory, the Polar Bears were trailing after doubles, falling on Courts 1 and 2.

The top Cardinal pairing of Eudice Chong and Victoria Yu breezed past their Polar Bear counterparts, Joulia Likhanskaia and Sam Stalder, 8-0, to give their side the early lead, which was then reinforced by Helen Klass-Warch and Nicole McCann's win over Tess Trinka and Tasha Christ, 8-6.

Down two points already in the dual, the Polar Bears kept themselves within striking distance of the Cardinals with a win on Court 3 in the final match of the doubles portion, as Pilar Giffenig and Sasa Jovanovic bested Aashli Budhiraja and Dasha Dubinsky, 7-3 in the 8-all tiebreaker.

After their doubles setback, the Polar Bears used their momentum from their tiebreaker win on Court 3 to fuel their comeback in singles, winning four of the first five matches on the court to secure their 5-3 victory.

The two sides traded the first two matches off the court, with Christ cruising past Klass-Warch on Court 4, 6-2 and 6-2, before Chong notched a win against Likhanskaia, 7-5 and 6-1.

Chong's point at Court 1 would be the Cardinals' last, however, as the Polar Bears proceeded to rattle off the next three matches off the court to complete their comeback. Wins from Trinka, Jovanovic, and Giffenig tallied the requisite number of points to book their place in Saturday's semifinal against Middlebury, tentatively set to start at 1 PM EDT.

Bowdoin 5, Wesleyan (Conn.) 3

  1. Chong, Eudice/Yu, Victoria (WESLEYAN) def. Likhanskaia, Joulia/Stalder, Sam (BOWDOIN) 8-0
  2. Klass-Warch, Helen/McCann, Nicole (WESLEYAN) def. Christ, Tasha/Trinka, Tess (BOWDOIN) 8-6
  3. Giffenig, Pilar/Jovanovic, Sasa (BOWDOIN) def. Budhiraja, Aashli/Dubinsky, Dasha (WESLEYAN) 9-8(3)
  1. Chong, Eudice (WESLEYAN) def. Likhanskaia, Joulia (BOWDOIN) 7-5, 6-1
  2. Trinka, Tess (BOWDOIN) def. Yu, Victoria (WESLEYAN) 6-2, 6-4
  3. Stalder, Sam (BOWDOIN) vs. Budhiraja, Aashli (WESLEYAN) 6-3, 2-1 DNF
  4. Christ, Tasha (BOWDOIN) def. Klass-Warch, Helen (WESLEYAN) 6-2, 6-2
  5. Giffenig, Pilar (BOWDOIN) def. McCann, Nicole (WESLEYAN) 6-4, 6-0
  6. Jovanovic, Sasa (BOWDOIN) def. Dubinsky, Dasha (WESLEYAN) 6-2, 6-4

Order of Finish:
Doubles - 1, 2, 3
Singles - 4, 1, 2, 6, 5

Wesleyan: 11-4, nationally ranked #7, regionally ranked #4 (Northeast)
Bowdoin: 14-4, nationally ranked #8, regionally ranked #5 (Northeast)


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Middlebury is the top seed for the 2017 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship that will be played May 5-7 at Williams College.

Competition gets underway Friday, May 5 with first-round matches featuring Wesleyan versus Bowdoin and Tufts against Amherst. Teams that advance out of the opening round will face the top-seeded Panthers and No. 2 Williams in the second round on Saturday, May 6. The NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship concludes on Sunday, May 7 with action beginning at 1 p.m.

If rain forces an adjusted schedule Friday, Wesleyan and Bowdoin will play no earlier than 11:45 a.m. at the Lansing Chapman Rink, with the Tufts-Amherst tussle scheduled at the rink no earlier than 3:45 p.m.

The 2017 NESCAC Championship features five teams from the tournament field a year ago. Last season, Amherst and Wesleyan advanced out of the first round. The Mammoths fell to Middlebury, while Williams dispatched the Cardinals. Following their second-round wins, the Panthers and Ephs faced each other in the conference championship match for the first time. Williams went on to win its seventh NESCAC title after defeating the Panthers by a 5-0 score.

Friday's opening round starts with fourth-seeded Wesleyan (11-3, 5-3 NESCAC) taking on fifth-seeded Bowdoin (13-4, 5-3 NESCAC) for the third consecutive year. The Cardinals are making their third straight NESCAC Championship appearance and fourth overall. Wesleyan finished the regular season winning four out of its last five matches. The Cardinals have wins over Amherst, Bates, Connecticut College, Hamilton and Trinity this season. The Polar Bears, who are seeking their first NESCAC title, won eight of their first nine matches to start the spring and have victories against Bates, Colby, Connecticut College, Trinity and Tufts. Wesleyan and Bowdoin did not play each other during the regular season and have split their two postseason matchups. Last year in the first round, Wesleyan earned a 5-1 win over Bowdoin to advance to the second round for the first time in program history.

The Bowdoin-Wesleyan victor will face No. 1 seed Middlebury (13-3, 8-0 NESCAC) on Saturday. The Panthers are the top seed for the first time since 2007 and enter the NESCAC Tournament riding a 10-match win streak. Middlebury is in pursuit of its first conference title after advancing to the final last season before falling to Williams, 5-0. Middlebury, which went unbeaten in NESCAC play, defeated Wesleyan (6-3) and Bowdoin (8-1) during the regular season.

Third-seeded Tufts (13-5, 6-3 NESCAC) will take on sixth-seeded Amherst (6-8, 4-4 NESCAC) in Friday's other first-round match. Tufts is the No. 3 seed for the first time since 2011, which was the last time the Jumbos advanced to the semifinals. Tufts, which is looking for its first NESCAC title, defeated the Mammoths, 5-4, on April 19 and owns wins over Bates, Colby, Hamilton, Trinity and Wesleyan this spring. Amherst has advanced to the final 10 of the last 11 years and won league-best nine NESCAC Championships, the most titles among the field. The Mammoths have wins over Bates, Bowdoin, Connecticut College and Hamilton this season. Despite not playing each other in the regular season this year, the two programs are no strangers in championship competition, having played each other four times. Amherst has won all four matches, including a 5-4 victory in the opening round last year.

The Tufts/Amherst winner will battle second-seeded Williams (13-4, 7-1 NESCAC). The Ephs earned a bye into the second round for the 10th straight season. Williams, the two-time defending champions, opened the spring with five wins in its first seven matches. The only blemish on the Ephs' conference schedule was a 6-3 loss at Middlebury on April 8. Williams defeated Tufts, 7-2, last weekend and earned an 8-1 win over Amherst on April 15. The Ephs, who have won seven championships overall, are 2-0 against Tufts in the postseason and last faced the Jumbos in the 2011 semifinals. Williams is 3-7 against Amherst in tournament play. The teams last played each other in the 2015 final, with the Ephs coming away with a 5-2 victory.

The format of the NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship changed in the spring of 2006 and features six teams vying for the NESCAC crown. Prior to 2006, the event was set up as an individual flighted tournament that included players from all 11 members of the NESCAC. Individuals and doubles teams were seeded in different classes, and a team score was determined on a points system that assigned a value for wins. The championship field is now chosen by a tournament selection committee, which seeds the six participating teams, with the top two seeds receiving a first-round bye. 

Atkinson, Hannah (WILLIAMS)