Women's Tennis Set For NCAA Quarterfinal Showdown With Tufts
Contact: Ben Badua
AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s tennis team will face a familiar opponent when it takes the court in Claremont, CA for its NCAA Quarterfinal match, squaring off against fellow NESCAC rival Tufts University.
With a pair of 5-0 wins over SUNY New Paltz and Middlebury College, the top-ranked Lord Jeffs advanced out of the championship’s regional rounds for the 16th time in the past 17 years, improving to 18-2 on the season and 39-18 overall in NCAA Tournament play. By virtue of their victories over Hunter College (5-0) and Johns Hopkins University (5-1), fifth-ranked Tufts (16-5) earned its first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal berth.
Earlier this season, the Jeffs edged out a 5-4 decision against Jumbos in Medford, MA (Apr. 19). First-years Jordan Brewer (Woodland Hills, CA) and Gabby Devlin (McLean, VA), the ITA Northeast Region’s top doubles pairing, defeated senior Julia Browne and first-year Shelci Bowman, slotted third in the Northeast, 8-4, and will look to improve upon their 26-2 doubles record with a quarterfinal win.
Tufts’ Lindsay Katz and Eliza Flynn, now ranked 13th in the region, earned a close 9-8 (4) second doubles victory over senior Mimi Bell (Cleveland, OH) and junior Laura Danzig (Allendale, NY), but Bell has since paired with senior Natasha Brown (Woodland Hills, CA), with the duo having won their last five outings, including a pair of triumphs in NCAA Tournament play.
Amherst’s Jennifer Newman ’14 (Haverford, PA) and Caroline Richman ’13 (Pacific Palisades, CA) secured a 8-6 third doubles win over the Jumbos Jennifer LaCara and Dana Siegel in the teams’ Apr. 19 meeting, but could see a different tandem in Tuesday’s (May 24) match-up. The Jumbos’ Lauren Hollender and Samantha Gann have gone 10-1 on the year, posting a 3-0 mark at third doubles, with tournament wins over Hunter and Johns Hopkins.
Browne, ranked third in the Northeast, secured a 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over Danzig in first singles in the squads’ showdown earlier this season, but should face a tougher task matching up against Brewer – the region’s top-ranked player – at the top of the lineup. Brewer, coming off of a 6-3, 6-2 win over sixth-ranked Victoria Aiello in Amherst’s regional final victory over Middlebury, posted a 16-5 overall mark in 2010-11 and will look to hand Browne (20-6) just her seventh loss of the year.
Jeffs senior Carlissa King (Bayside, NY), slotted 16th in the region, will look to duplicate her last showing against 14th-ranked Lindsay Katz at second singles after taking their earlier meeting 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. Bowman and Devlin meet in what will serve as a rematch of this season’s hard-fought 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 third singles showdown which Bowman took. Bowman has since gone 3-2, while Devlin has won three of four matches during that span.
Richman will once again look to upend Flynn at fourth singles, with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph already under her belt, while Hollender, who defeated Amherst’s Laken King (Bayside, NY) 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 in the fifth spot earlier this year, may now have to deal with Brown, who carries an 11-2 singles mark into the contest.
Laken King anchors the Jeffs’ singles line-up in the sixth slot, posting a 10-4 mark on the year, which includes a decisive 6-1, 6-0 win in Amherst’s second round victory over New Paltz. Gann, who did not appear in the teams’ match earlier this season, carries an 18-4 record into the contest, having won 10 of her last 11, including a 6-0, 6-0 sweep of John Hopkins’ Andrea Berlinghof in the regional final.
Tuesday’s quarterfinal is set to begin at 12 p.m. EST at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center and Pauley Tennis Complex. The Jeffs, making their ninth quarterfinal appearance, have won their last 18 meetings with the Jumbos, notching a pair of NCAA tournament wins over Tufts during that span. Amherst took the squads’ regional championship match-up in 2002, 6-3, before handing the Jumbos a 5-3 loss in the 2009 regional final.