WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – On a drizzly and dismal April day in Billsville, the Williams College women's tennis team was defeated 6-3 by the Bowdoin College Polar Bears. This is the Ephs' second to last matchup of the regular season.
Doubles began auspiciously, with all three Williams pairings taking 2-1 leads initially over the Bowdoin players. Chloe Henderson '20 and Korina Neveux '19 retained the lead as the score rose to 4-3 over Izzy Essi and Tasha Christ, as did Maxine Ng '22 and Emily Zheng '20, who faced off against Fleming Landau and Sarah Shadowens. The Bears' Devon Wolfe and Julia Marks, however, were able to pull ahead of Julia Pham '22 and Leah Bush '19 at 4-3.
This lead didn't last, as Pham and Bush determinedly fought their way past Wolfe and Marks to recapture the lead and win the match 8-5. Ng and Zheng held on to the their lead as a resurgent Christ and Essi attempted to surpass them; Henderson and Neveux were not as lucky as their Bowdoin opponents crept past them to take a 6-5 lead.
As Henderson and Neveux tied their match and went into a tiebreaker, Ng and Zheng fell to Shadowens and Landau 8-6. After battling it out against Essi and Christ, Henderson and Neveux were defeated 8-7(6) in the tiebreaker, putting the Bears up 2-1 going into singles.
Heading into the first rounds of singles for the day, Williams' Zheng was "retired" in her match against Landau. Marks and Christ both grabbed the first point of their matches over Ephs Bush and Neveux respectively, while Henderson scored the first point of her match against Wolfe. Williams' Ng also took the first point of her match, but did not retain the lead for long.
As Essi powered past Ng to take a 4-1 lead, her teammate Wolfe also snagged a 4-1 lead over Henderson. Bush and Neveux, however, upended their matches against Marks and Christ. Bush captured a 2-1 lead, while Neveux raced ahead of Christ to convert her score to 4-1.
Neveux finished her first set of the day 6-2 over Christ, while conversely Ng was defeated by Essi 6-2. Bush and Henderson were the next to finish their initial sets with similar results, as Bush won her first 6-2, while Henderson lost to Wolfe 6-2 in her opening set.
Bush swept her second set, opening it with a 3-0 lead and continuing to hold off Marks for the rest of her time on the court. The other three Williams players initially were not so lucky, as all of their Bowdoin rivals took leads in the second. Neveux overcame Christ's lead 3-2, but the Bears' Wolfe and Essi held Henderson and Ng at bay with 4-1 scores apiece. Unfortunately for Williams, these leads eventually turned into 6-1 second set wins. Neveux, however, won her second set 6-2 to claim Williams' second singles win of the day.
There was still one more singles matchup to go: Sasa Jovanic took the lead in her first singles set against Sarah Yang of Williams to hold the Eph junior off. Yang was on Jovanic's heels for the initial part of the first set, staying within a point of the Bowdoin player, but eventually fell back and was downed 6-3. Jovanic, taking this in stride, went on to finish her second set 6-0 and win the last singles match of the day, giving Bowdoin the 6-3 win over Williams.
The Ephs will play Bates tomorrow at 10:00 AM in their last event of the regular season before the NESCAC tournament.
Leah Bush (W) def. Julia Marks (B) 6-2 6-0
Korina Neveux (W) def. Tasha Christ (B) 6-2 6-2
Devon Wolfe (B) def. Chloe Henderson (W) 6-2 6-1
Izzy Essi (B) def. Maxine Ng (W) 6-1 6-1
Sasa Jovanic (B) def. Sarah Yang (W) 6-3 6-0
Fleming Landau (B) def. Emily Zheng (W) 6-0 6-0