The women’s tennis team ended its spring season this weekend against Ivy rivals, No. 58 Penn (14-5, 7-0) and Princeton (9-9, 4-3). Despite a strong effort by the Red (11-10 1-6), the team came up short with two 6-1 losses.
On Friday at Penn, the netwomen faced their toughest competition of the year. Penn opened the match by sweeping all three doubles contests to clinch the doubles point. Junior Piper Lucas came away with the only point of the match for the Red, netting a straight-set victory at the No. 5 singles position. Freshman Akane Kokubo was unable to defend her perfect Ivy record, taking Penn’s Nicole Ptak to three sets before falling 6-1 in the final set. The team played strongly in the singles contests, but the Quakers proved to be too much for the Red in the end. With a sweep of the Red and Columbia this weekend, Penn went perfect in Ivy play to clinch its second-straight conference title.
Returning home yesterday to face Princeton, the Red came out strong in doubles play. Junior co-captain Suzanne Wright and Kokubo posted an 8-4 win at the No. 1 doubles contest. Junior Nicole Chiu and freshman Erika Takeuchi lost an extremely close match at the No. 3 position, 9-8 (3).
“They outplayed us,” commented head coach Angela Rudert. “We had some chances that we didn’t capitalize on.”
Rudert, nonetheless, was very pleased with the team’s improvement in the doubles contests.
In singles play, Lucas again came up with the only win for the Red, winning in straight sets at the number five position to earn her fourth Ivy victory of the year. Kokubo finished her freshman year with an impressive 5-2 record in conference after losing at the number three contest.
Losing no one to graduation, the netwomen look to improve on this season’s strong play in the fall.
“We’ve got four or five freshmen coming in,” remarked Rudert. “We only expect to be stronger [in the fall]. This will be my fourth recruiting class, so we’ll have four really strong classes next season.”