Jeffs Close Fall Season with Strong Showing at NEWITT

Jennifer Newman '14 (left) and Mimi Bell '11 (right) advanced to the semifinals of the Chris Davis B Flight.

AMHERST, MA – The Amherst College women’s tennis team concluded its fall season in style, as first-years Jordan Brewer (Woodland Hills, CA) and Gabby Devlin (McLean, VA) won the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament in convincing fashion, defeating a duo from archrival Williams College in Sunday’s finals.

In the unique NEWITT format, three points are up for grabs in each round. After two teams compete in a pro-set doubles match, those players break up for a pair of singles matches. The team to earn at least two of the three points advances in the bracket. Brewer and Devlin did not lose a single point during the weekend.

Competition began Friday, with Amherst, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges acting as tournament hosts. Amherst featured four teams in the Gail Smith (Flight A) Division and one in the Chris Davis (Flight B) bracket. Brewer and Devlin earned the No. 1 seed in the top flight and cruised into the semifinals, earning 3-0 wins over pairs from Springfield, Tufts and Williams in the opening rounds.

The semifinals paired Brewer and Devlin against Middlebury College’s Leah Kepping and Brittney Faber, who the Lord Jeff youngsters had already defeated in the ITA Regional Championship semifinals and in last weekend’s Gail Smith Doubles Tournament finals. The third time would not be a charm for the fourth-seeded Panthers, who could not take a point from Brewer and Devlin.

In the finals, Brewer and Devlin squared off against Kristin Alotta and Nikki Reich of Williams—the tournament’s No. 3 seed—in a rematch of the Oct. 2 dual match between the archrivals. The Jeffs would once again get the best of the Ephs, winning the doubles match by an 8-4 margin before Brewer defeated Alotta (6-4, 6-2) and Devlin came from behind to beat Reich (5-7, 6-4, 10-4). Devlin’s victory was particularly impressive because Reich has been the Ephs’ No. 3 singles player in dual matches, while Devlin has been the Jeffs’ No. 6 player.   

Excelling in the second flight was the Amherst pairing of Mimi Bell ’11 (Cleveland, OH) and Jennifer Newman ’14 (Haverford, PA). The Lord Jeffs did not surrender a single point in the first three rounds, earning 3-0 wins over teams from Mount Holyoke, Smith and MIT to earn a spot in the semifinals. Their run would end there, however, as they suffered a 2-1 loss to the third pairing from Tufts, top-seeded Lauren Hollender and Samantha Gann.

Laura Danzig ’12 (Allendale, NY) and Natasha Brown ’11 (Woodland Hills, CA) advanced to the quarterfinals of the top flight but were knocked out by Alotta and Reich, 2-1. The Jeffs defeated a duo from Salve Regina in the opening round, 3-0, before knocking out Wheaton’s Catherine Teague and Sarah Geocaris in the second round. Danzig won last year’s NEWITT Flight A bracket with Brittany Berckes ’10.

Amherst also had a pair of teams advance to the second round of the Flight A bracket. Carlissa King ’11 (Bayside, NY) and Caroline Richman ’13 (Pacific Palisades, CA) defeated Bowdoin’s No. 2 pair in the first round, 3-0, before falling to Tufts’ top team by the same score. Laken King ’11 (Bayside, NY) and Lauren Slutsky ’14 (Palm City, FL) took all three points from Clark’s Gaby Suriano and Sarah Sachs but lost to Middlebury’s best pair in the second round, 3-0.

The NEWITT marked the end of what was an outstanding fall season for the Lord Jeffs. Brewer and Devlin claimed doubles titles in the ITA Regional Championships and Middlebury’s Gail Smith Tournament, with Brewer also winning the ITA Singles Championship. At Army’s Eastern Championships, Devlin won the Flight C Singles Tournament, while Bell and Newman took home the Flight B Doubles title.  

In the only dual match of the season, third-ranked Amherst upset top-ranked Williams, 5-4, to make a strong case for the top ranking in Division III. The Lord Jeffs will not return to action until March, when they will begin a run toward a 17th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  The first national rankings will be released Nov. 4.

Complete NEWITT Results

#1 Jordan Brewer/Gabby Devlin
First Round: def. Springfield #2 (Sam Carney/Jen Cleary), 3-0
Second Round: def. Tufts #2 (Lindsay Katz/Edwina Stewart), 3-0
Quarterfinals: def. Williams #2 (Nancy Worley/Taylor French), 3-0
Semifinals: def. Middlebury #1 (Leah Kepping/Brittney Faber), 3-0
Finals: def. Williams #1 (Kristin Alotta/Nikki Reich), 3-0

#2 Laura Danzig/Natasha Brown
First Round: def. Salve Regina #1 (Erin Phillips/Ana Gwozdz), 3-0
Second Round: def. Wheaton #1 (Catherine Teague/Sarah Geocaris), 2-1
Quarterfinals: lost to Williams #1 (Kristin Alotta/Nikki Reich), 2-1

#3 Carlissa King/Caroline Richman
First Round: def. Bowdoin #2 (Kate Winingham/Chantelle Lavertu), 3-0
Second Round: lost to Tufts #1 (Julia Browne/Shelci Bowman), 3-0

#4 Laken King/Lauren Slutsky
First Round: def. Clark #1 (Gaby Suriano/Sarah Sachs), 3-0
Second Round: lost to Middlebury #1 (Leah Kepping/Brittney Faber), 3-0

#5 Jennifer Newman/Mimi Bell
First Round: def. Mount Holyoke #2 (Nahrhee Han/Heather Richardson), 3-0
Second Round: def. Smith #1 (Jaimi Inskeep/Gianna Teague), 3-0
Quarterfinals: def. MIT #2 (Katie O'Neal/Melissa Diskin), 3-0
Semifinals: lost to Tufts #3 (Lauren Hollender/Samantha Gann), 2-1