Williamstown, MA – The women's tennis team looks to start off the year strong Friday by hosting the Lindsay Morehouse Invitational. Coming off a 6-10 record from the 2018-2019 season, the Ephs graduated Leah Bush and Korina Neveux. Last year, the Ephs ended the season with a first-round exit in the NESCAC playoffs against Bowdoin. Bush entered the NCAA Singles tournament, but lost in the first round to Claremont Mudd Scripps' Rebecca Berger.
Coach Anik Cepeda said she is looking forward to "everyone getting their first bite of competition."
Returning players include seniors Chloe Henderson, Sarah Yang, and Emily Zheng. Junior Rachel Cross and Sophomores Maxine Ng and Julia Pham will also be continuing with the team. Freshmen joining the team include Katherine Orgielwicz (Larchmont, NY), Maya Jamroz (Oak Park, IL), and Zoe Bennett (Los Angeles, CA).
With two players graduating from Williams and three freshmen coming on, the team will be larger than it was last year, something Cepeda sees as a plus. "This is about the size we want. Last year was especially challenging because we struggled with injuries. Rachel has been injured and is coming with back lots of discipline and cares for the team. Julia has taken pretty drastic steps to get back to normal life so she can get back on the court. Twelve players is definitely our sweet spot."
Cepeda is not yet sure what the doubles pairings and singles lineup will look like. She said it has to be whoever is playing best at the time, regardless of their tenure on the team. She said some skills to look forward to include Henderson's directional shots, Orgielwicz's long reach, and Zheng's grind and grit, with Cepeda calling her "the toughest competitor in NESCAC."
The team looks to improve upon their record from last year and especially hopes to avenge losses against Tufts, Amherst and Wesleyan, teams Williams beat in Cepeda's first year as coach.
The Lindsay Morehouse Tournament remembers a Williams women's tennis player who lost her life in the September 11 terrorist attacks.
After the Lindsay Morehouse Invitational this weekend, Williams will play at the ITA New England regional tournament at Middlebury on the weekend of September 27th. A week after that is a Saturday date with archrival Amherst, the only dual match of the fall campaign. The fall season is then rounded out with the Middlebury Invitational.