Jeffs Fall in Day One of Singles, Doubles Tournaments

Brittany Berckes
LAWRENCEVILLE, GA – Amherst College sent three players to the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Individual Championships, but the Lord Jeffs were eliminated on day one of the singles and doubles national tournaments. After junior Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) and sophomore Carlissa King (Laurelton, NY) fell in the Singles Round of 32, Berckes and sophomore Natasha Brown (Woodland Hills, CA) were stopped in the Doubles Round of 16.

Friday’s results mark the end of an exceptional year for the Amherst women’s tennis team, which advanced to Thursday’s national title match and finished with a remarkable 21-2 record. In addition to making a fourth appearance in the NCAA finals, the Lord Jeffs claimed a fifth consecutive NESCAC crown.

Leading the team as the top singles and doubles player was Berckes, who this year earned her third consecutive Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-America honor in doubles play. On Friday she had her singles season come to an end with a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Katie Tabb of Washington & Lee, before she and Brown suffered a 6-4, 6-2 loss to Tabb and Lauren Carie.

Natasha Brown
In dual matches this year Berckes went 9-8 as the ITA’s fourth-ranked singles player. In doubles play she and Brown went 10-9 as the region’s second-ranked pair, with their final win coming against Williams in the NCAA finals.

Brown will share ITA All-America honors with Berckes to go along with the All-NESCAC Second Team nod they received earlier this year. The Amherst pair earned the #3 seed in the NCAA doubles tournament but was unable to bring home a third consecutive national title for the school, as Berckes and Alicia Menezes ’08 took home the 2007 and 2008 crowns.

Also competing in the singles tournament was King, who joined Berckes and Brown on this year’s All-NESCAC Team. Ranked #8 in the Northeast by the ITA, King posted a 14-4 record this year while spending most her time in the #2 slot. On Friday King’s impressive sophomore season ended with a 6-3, 6-2 setback to Paige Sumida of the University of Redlands.

Carlissa King
Berckes, Brown and King will highlight an exceptional returning cast next year as the Lord Jeffs attempt to defend their NESCAC title and qualify for a 16th consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament.

For results from the 2009 NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Team and Individual Championships, visit the Amherst Championship Website.

NCAA Singles Championship Round of 32
Katie Tabb (Washington & Lee) def. Brittany Berckes (Amherst) 6-0, 6-1
Paige Sumida (Redlands) def. Carlissa King (Amherst) 6-3, 6-2

NCAA Doubles Championship Round of 16
Katie Tabb/Lauren Carie (Washington & Lee) def. Brittany Berckes/Natasha Brown (Amherst) 6-4, 6-2