WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – The Oracle ITA New England Regional Women's Tennis Championship got underway on Friday as players from seventeen schools met on the campus of Williams College. The tournament features a singles bracket of 64 players, and a doubles bracket of 32 teams.
Three Ephs were seeded in the top 16 singles with Juli Raventos '18 seeded third, Leah Bush '19 sixth, and Mia Gancayco '18 seeded 9-16. Raventos paired up with Julia Cancio '18 to form the second seeded doubles team, while sophomore Chloe Henderson and first-year Rachel Cross were seeded fourth. Cross, Cancio, and Henderson also participated in the singles draw along with first-year Sasha Cayward. Bush paired up with Emily Zheng '20 in the doubles draw as well.
Last year's champions in both singles and doubles returned to the tournament this year. Wesleyan's Eudice Chong, a senior, was the number one seed coming into the tournament. She was seeded first for 2016's ITA Championship, as well, but was defeated by Juli Raventos in the finals. Chong is also featured as part of the number one seeded doubles team, paired up with junior Victoria Yu. Yu and Chong overcame the number one seeded Raventos and partner Linda Shin '17 in the 2016 doubles finals.
In the singles draw, first seeded Chong won both her matches, losing just one game on the day. Victoria Yu, the second seed, won her first match before being upset by Williams' Chloe Henderson, a sophomore. Henderson, not seeded in the top 16, will face Middlebury's Catherin Blayze, ranked 9-16, to begin Day 2. The seventh and eighth seeds were eliminated with Sabrina Ross-Neergaard of Brandeis falling in the second round and Vanja Babunski of Trinity in the first. The remainder of the top 8 won both their matches on the day. For the Ephs, Rachel Cross locked down two wins, each 6-1, 6-1. Raventos secured victories against Middlebury and Amherst, but Cancio fell to Middlebury's Heather Boehm in the first round. Gancayco earned two wins on the day while Cayward was defeated in the first round. Bush won in each of her two matches to give Williams a successful day overall. With the round of 64 and 32 played, Day 2 will begin with 16 players remaining.
Wesleyan's Chong and Yu, the number one seed in doubles, secured two wins on the day overcoming Williams' Bush and Zheng 8-4 and defeating a team from MIT as well. Middlebury sophomore duo Katherine Hughes and Skylar Schossberger, the third seed, won their first game by a score of 8-1 before falling 8-6 to Amherst's Anya Ivenitsky and Avery Wagman. The rest of the top four, two teams from Williams, won both of their matches. Raventos and Cancio secured an 8-2 win over their Tufts opponents, before overcoming a team from Wesleyan 8-4. Henderson and Cross won their matches 8-0, 8-2. 8 teams will square off beginning on Day 2.
"Today was an excellent display of resiliency and courage to trust our games" said Head Coach Anik Cepeda at the conclusion of the long day of tennis. "We bounced back after losing sets, and adjusted well to new conditions. Looking forward to more opportunities tomorrow!"
Play is set to begin at 9:00 AM tomorrow.
Complete Results – Day 1: