LA JOLLA, CA – In a rough day for the Ephs, the Williams College women's tennis team was defeated by the University of San Diego (UCSD) Tritons 5-2. The Division II Tritons were felled last year 7-2 by the Ephs, but returned this year with a vengeance to sweep doubles and collect most of the singles matches.
"It'll start coming together," said head coach Anik Cepeda. "We lacked bite and consistent energy at the start of doubles - fought back in singles, but couldn't quite convert on the deuce points."
Two of Williams' doubles matches of the day ran very close: senior Leah Bush and junior Emily Zheng, facing off against Ashley Chao and Becky Chou, kept even with their opponents for much of their set. Eventually, Chao and Chou downed the Ephs 7(3)–6 in a close loss for Williams.
Korina Neveux '19 and Maxine Ng '22 also were close to their Californian opponents, suffering a defeat at the hands of Chloe Wight and Shweta Kumar 7-5. The last Williams doubles team, Chloe Henderson '20 and Julia Pham '22, did not fare so well. UCSD's Alexandra Weil and Madison Hale dealt the duo a 6-1 defeat.
In singles, the two seniors, Bush and Neveux, had an unfortunate day at the hands of Chao and Weil, respectively. Bush was defeated by Chao 6-4 in both sets, while Weil got the better of Neveux, winning her two singles sets 6-1 6-2. Zheng was also routed by her opponent, Valeria Corral, who triumphed 6-1 6-2 over the Eph junior.
Henderson had a closer match against UCSD's Chou. Her first set went to 7-6 and then into a tiebreaker, which Henderson won. But her subsequent sets were stumbles, as Chou won the second 6-3 and third 6-1 to claim UCSD's fourth singles win for the day.
The bright spots of the day for Williams were the two first-years, Pham and Ng, who found success on the courts in singles. Ng, dueling freshman Kumar, went 6-2 in her first. Kumar put up a fight in the second, but Ng didn't let up and won the second set 6-4. Pham also put down UCSD senior Wight 6-2 in her first set, but did even better in her second, winning 6-0 and cinching Williams' second singles victory of the day.
The Ephs have one more stop on their spring break trip to California – one that coach Cepeda is looking forward to. On Thursday, March 28, Williams will face off against the University of Chicago at Claremont at 8:30 am PST.