Jeffs Return Majority of Lineup from 2012-13 Season
Contact: Mike O'Brien
Entering her 23rd season at Amherst with a 358-72 (.833) dual-match record to her credit, head coach Jackie Bagwell has built one of the most successful programs in the country. With the bulk of last year’s lineup returning and the team welcoming back its two-time doubles national champions, the Jeffs will be among the favorites to compete for the 2013 NCAA title once again.
Amherst’s dominance in Division III tennis continued last year as the Jeffs advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the fifth consecutive season. The squad finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 21-3 overall record and 9-0 conference mark, but fell short of reclaiming the NESCAC title with a 5-2 loss to national champions Williams. Despite the loss, Amherst has dominated the NESCAC Championship in recent memory and has won the title seven of the past nine years.
Last season’s national championship run ended with a 5-4 loss to Emory in the semifinals, but Amherst went on to claim the NCAA doubles title for the fifth time in seven years. The Jeffs lost only two seniors from a year ago and return three All-America selections from the 2012-13 season, including the reigning national champion doubles team. Amherst is stacked in both singles and doubles and is poised to make a serious run at its first NCAA crown since 1999.
Meet the Team
The Jeffs return a quartet of seniors who were arguably the team’s four best players a year ago. Headlining the group is All-America Jordan Brewer ’14, one of the nation’s top players and nationally ranked No. 4 in the final rankings of 2012-13. Brewer, a First Team All-NESCAC selection in singles and doubles a year ago, played in the No. 1 singles spot all season and posted a 10-6 record. The senior, however, shined in doubles play and claimed her second NCAA title in three seasons. Playing in the No. 1 position, she posted a 17-4 overall doubles record in dual match play. Brewer has excelled during her three-year career and nothing suggests anything will change this season.
Brewer’s national champion doubles partner and All-America, Gabby Devlin ’14, looks to claim her fourth NCAA title in as many years. Devlin teamed up with Laura Danzig ’12 in 2012 when Brewer went down with a season ending injury and the pair stormed through the national tournament. Last season, the senior racked up an 18-4 dual match doubles record en route to a First Team All-NESCAC selection. The doubles duo of Brewer and Devlin has been nearly unbeatable and hope to remain that way in 2013-14.
The Jeffs return another nationally ranked and All-America player in senior Jen Newman. Newman finished the season as the No. 19th ranked singles player and earned a Second Team All-NESCAC selection. Playing primarily in the No. 2 spot, she tallied a 10-5 dual match record. Newman also excelled in doubles play from the No. 2 court and racked up 14 wins and only five losses en route to another second team all-conference honor.
Of the team’s five 2012-13 All-Conference selections, four are returning this season. Another senior, Zoe Pangalos ’14, earned second team honors in doubles a year ago with a 15-6 dual match record in the No. 2 spot. Pangalos also played a major role in singles from the No. 5 and No. 6 positions with a staggering 15-2 record. Pangalos was paired with Newman for the majority of the season as the duo finished the year ranked 10th in the Northeast.
Rounding out the top-five players entering the season is Safi Aly ’15. Aly was a key contributor in doubles play, recording a whopping 16-5 mark on the No. 3 court. In singles play, she made six appearances from the sixth position and posted a 3-3 record. She will be relied upon this season to make a bigger impact in singles.
Amherst returns a wealth of experience to its lineup. Joining Brewer, Devlin, Newman and Pangalos are Alex Budd ’14, Isabel Camacho ’14, Claire DiMario ’14, Maggie Seaver ’14, Lauren Slutsky ’14, and Mary Soyster ’14. Camacho, Newman, Soyster and Pangalos will serve as team captains this season. Aly represents the junior class while Sue Ghosh ’16, Lara Min ’16, Sarah Monteagudo ’16, Rebecca Pol ’16 and Maddy Sung ’16 represent the sophomore class.
Also looking to make an impact this year will be newcomers Simone Aisiks ’17, Claire Carpenter ’17, Lola Fadulu ’17, and Amanda Zalameda ’17.
The 2013-14 season will begin Friday, Sept. 13 for the three-day Columbia Tournament. The dual match season will begin Saturday, Oct. 5 when Amherst hosts Williams in a rematch of the 2013 NESCAC Finals.