ROWLAND HEIGHTS, CA - It was a sad day in Billsville indeed as the Williams College women's tennis team was defeated by Pomona College Sagehens 9-0 in their second spring break matchup.
"Congrats to Coach Mike and his team," stated head coach Anik Cepeda. "They wanted it badly and showed that desire before, during, and after every point - up until the very end."
In doubles, junior Chloe Henderson and first-year Julia Pham faced off against Margherita Andreassi and Maria Lyven, fighting their way up and keeping the point deficit under three. Over on their court, Leah Bush '19 and Sarah Yang '20 were fighting their own battle against Caroline Casper and Jay Kim. Senior Korina Neveux and Maxine Ng lost a tough match to Pomona's Arianna Chen and Lucy Jiang.
Both remaining Williams doubles teams battled it out at 5-7 but were unable to overcome their opponents, losing 5-8 to Pomona. However, Williams was hopeful heading into singles despite their 0-3 loss in doubles.
Henderson was the only Eph player to forge ahead of a Sagehen player, taking an early 2-1 lead. The other Williams players were unfortunately outpaced by their rivals, as four other Williams players, Bush, Neveux, Ng, and Yang all lost their first sets 1-6. Pham fared slightly better than the other Ephs, but still was defeated 2-6 in her first. Henderson, however, pulled out a successful win over Pomona's Chen 6-2 for her first set.
Uplifted by Henderson's first set win, Bush scored the first point in her second set, and even when she was surpassed by Casper, grittily held on and did not let Casper outpace her by much. First-years Pham and Ng also held on in their second sets, with Ng taking the lead for the first part of her second set 2-1.
Bad news came for the Ephs next: Yang fell to Pomona's Rebecca Salaway 1-6 0-6, while Neveux was defeated by Lyven 2-6 in her second set. Ng was outscored by her opponent and lost 3-6 in her second set. The remaining players, Bush, Henderson, and Pham, held out hope for Williams, as Bush was only down by one and Henderson had won her first.
Pham went down next, finishing out her set 3-6 to Andreassi. There was some good news to be had, as Henderson was up 5-4 in her tiebreaker set. Unfortunately, Bush was outdone by Casper and lost her second 4-6. With all eyes on Henderson, she held the lead for most of the tiebreaker until Chen raced ahead to win 10-8, leaving Henderson's singles record at 6-2, 1-6, 8-10 for the day.
"Saying you're going to give everything you've got in whatever role you have - that's easy. I think this team has guts and a willingness to go the distance, but we'll just have to see," said Cepeda. "Tomorrow is another day and we will do everything possible to be ready for Tufts."
The team will face off against the Tufts University Jumbos Friday, March 22nd at 12:00 PST.