CLAREMONT, CA – Facing one of the best teams in the nation on their home turf, the Williams College women's tennis team was defeated by the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) Athenas 9-0. CMS is undefeated so far this season and is ranked second in the country.
"We need more practice and we need to be better at the things inside our control," said Eph head coach Anik Cepeda post match.
Senior Leah Bush and junior Chloe Henderson went toe-to-toe with the top Division III doubles team in the country: CMS's Caroline Cox and Catherine Allen. The Ephs didn't let this deter them, keeping even with a 3-3 initial score. A court over, Korina Neveux '19 and Emily Zheng '20 faced off against Nicole Tan and Sarah Bahsoun, while first-years Maxine Ng and Julia Pham dueled Madison Shea and Rebecca Berger.
Ng and Pham were quickly outpaced by Shea and Berger, with the CMS duo winning 8-1 over Williams. Neveux and Zheng were also surpassed by the Athenas, losing to Tan and Bahsoun 8-3. Yet in the face of immense pressure, Bush and Henderson were able to stay fairly even with Cox and Allen, eventually falling with the smallest deficit of the three Eph doubles teams. CMS's Cox and Allen won 8-5 in the last doubles match.
Singles did not fare much better for the Ephs. Neveux was the only Williams player to win a first set, triumphing over Tan 6-3. Henderson, Zheng, and Ng all lost their first sets to CMS players 6-1. CMS's Allen defeated Williams' Bush 6-2 in both of her singles sets for the day. Cox won her sets 6-0 and 6-2 over Pham, while Bahsoun defeated Ng 6-1 6-1. Henderson was defeated in a similar way, as Berger thwarted her in both sets 6-1 6-1.
With Neveux being the only Williams player going into a third set of the day, all eyes were on the second court. Tan had previously bested Neveux in the second set 6-4, so it all came down to the last, vital set.
Neveux and Tan jockeyed for the lead at first, but Tan slowly but surely pulled in front. As the day came to a close, Tan closed out her third singles set overcoming Neveux 10-6.
The Ephs will continue their spring break on the road in California, and will play next at UC San Diego on Monday, March 25th, at 12:00 pm PST.