After an undefeated fall season fi lled with convincing victories against NJAC opponents, the College’s women’s tennis team fell short on the national stage. Lions’ tennis stars senior Haley Kutner and freshman Christie Pollin competed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Small College Championships this weekend as doubles partners after their victory at the ITA Regional tournament on Sept. 28.
The untouchable duo, who went 12-0 this season and 7-0 in tournament play, were fi nally defeated in the opening round of the tournament, which was held in Mobile, Ala. Kutner and Pollin fell to No. 4-seeded sophomores Elizabeth Lewis and Kelly Fox of Chapman University, 6-1, 6-4.
“After a loss you always go over how you could have approached the match differently,” Kutner said. “However, at the end of the day (Pollin) and I were content with how we played. You can’t go back and change the outcome, although you might like to.”
Pollin and Kutner competed again on Friday in a “super breaker” match but were again unable to overcome defeat at the hands of University of Texas-Tyler’s senior Beth Laurius and sophomore Michelle Hagler. The Lion pair fell 5-7, 6-3, (10-7) and then moved on to the 7th-8th place match against Emory University for their final competition of the tournament.
In the match against Emory University, Kutner and Pollin could not produce a victory against Emory’s sophomore duo Lorne McManigle and junior Sabra Rogers 6-1, 6-3. After the winless weekend tournament, the duo finished the season 12-3 together.
“As one of the only first time teams in the tournament, we can’t complain with how we played and are proud to be part of this select group of teams,” Kutner said. “It was a wonderful experience despite the difficult competition.”
“This was one of the greatest experiences,” Pollin said. “Just being involved in that tournament was a learning experience. I would love to get there again in the future.”
Discussing the impact of the tournament, Kutner said, “After the tournament was over, both Christie and I recognized where we need to improve. Furthermore, the tournament was a good indicator of how top teams play.
Although we lost our matches we were pleased to know that we are in the mix with the rest of the teams.”
With the fall season complete, the Lions will begin their offseason training to prepare for upcoming matches in the spring.
“During the offseason the entire team will be working together to improve both our fitness and tennis skills,” Kutner said.
“As far as my preparation goes, I will definitely be focusing on my serve and my transition from the baseline to the net.”
“Training is the key to a successful season,” Pollin added.
“It’s who can outlast someone or mentally stay with the match that will put them a step above someone else.”
The women’s season was full of success this fall, but the shortcoming in Alabama will leave the team wanting more in the spring.