Amherst Tops #8 Pomona-Pitzer College for 2-0 Spring Start

Junior Brittany Berckes helped lead Amherst to
a win over No. 8 Pomona-Pitzer.
CLAREMONT, CA – The 6th-ranked Amherst College women’s tennis team continued its western swing during Spring Break this afternoon, playing at 8th-ranked Pomona-Pitzer. Amherst dropped a nail-biter, 9-7, in the top doubles match, before rattling off wins in every other match for an 8-1 victory.

Amherst’s top doubles pairing of Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) and Natasha Brown (Los Angeles, CA) dropped a hard-fought match-up with Olivia Muesse and Siobhan Finicane. Berckes won last year’s doubles national championship with then-partner Alicia Menezes ’08, while Muesse and Finicane return this season as one of the best combos in Division III. Berckes and Brown were edged 9-7, but Finicane retired after doubles play with an injury.

Amherst’s tandem of Jill Wexler (Beverly, MA) and Laura Danzig (Allendale, NJ) topped Kasyn Stevenson and Rebecca Lange in the number two match, winning the tiebreaker 7-1 after playing to an 8-8 deadlock. Mimi Bell (Cleveland, OH) and Anuja Ankola (Scarsdale, NY) cruised to an 8-0 win in number three doubles.

With Finicane, the defending singles national champion, out of the singles ladder for Pomona-Pitzer, the Lord Jeffs were able to sweep all six singles matches against the Sagehens. Berckes and sophomore Carlissa King (Laurelton, NY) won straight set matches at the top for Amherst, while Wexler rallied for a three-set, come-from-behind win over Kristin Holsted at number three.

Brown picked up her first win of the spring at number four, ousting Lindsay Clough from Pomona-Pitzer 6-3, 6-4. Bell and Laken King (Laurelton, NY) surrendered a combined five games in a pair of straight set wins at number five and six.

With the victory, Amherst improves to 3-1 in 2008-09, including a 2-0 start this spring. The Jeffs will take on Azusa Pacific University on Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. PST after taking tomorrow off.

Amherst 8: Pomona-Pitzer 1– March 16, 2009 – Claremont, CA

1) Finicane/Muesse (P) def. Berckes/Brown (A)  9-7
2) Wexler/Danzig (A) def. Stevenson/Lange (P) 9-8 (7-1)
3) Bell/Ankola (A) def. Holsted/Clough (P) 8-0
1) Brittany Berckes (A) def. Rebecca Lange (P) 6-3, 6-3
2) Carlissa King (A) def. Olivia Muesse (P) 6-4, 6-1
3) Jill Wexler (A) def. Kristin Holsted (P) [1-6], 7-6 (8-6), 10-3
4) Natasha Brown (A) def. Lindsay Clough (P) 6-3, 6-4
5) Mimi Bell (A) def. Kathryn Myers (P) 6-2, 6-1
6) Laken King (A) def. Kasyn Stevenson (P) 6-1, 6-1