By Connor Smith
The women’s tennis team began its spring season on Friday, March 11, as the Lions faced off against a No. 27 Division II (D-II) program, Chestnut Hill College. Chestnut Hill’s athletic scholarships and international recruits proved futile, as the College stamped out a 6-3 victory.
The Lions returned to action on Saturday, March 12, as the College was matched up with another No. 27 program — this time in Division III — Brandeis University. The women pulled out a closely-contested 5-4 victory, improving their overall record to 8-0 on the season.
On Friday, the doubles competition put the Lions in an early 1-2 hole. Chestnut Hill managed wins, 8-6, on courts one and two, while junior Anna Prestera and freshman Alyssa Baldi combined to put the College on the board with a dominating 8-1 victory.
Court one of singles competition went in favor of Chestnut Hill (6-0, 6-4). Senior Emma Allen earned the Lions a win in straight sets on court two (6-4, 6-3).
Freshman Sneha Rangu was awarded a victory on court three and the College tied up the match at three points. Freshmen Grace Minassian and Emily Szkudlarski captured wins of their own in straight sets (6-4, 6-0 and 6-0, 6-3, respectively).
Prestera earned her second win of the day on court six, as she reeled in a victory in straight sets (7-6 [5-3], 6-2). The Lions won five of the six singles competitions, en route to a stunning 6-3 victory over Chestnut Hill.
Following their upset win over a D-II opponent, the Lions were back in action on Saturday against No. 27 Brandeis University.
Doubles competition was a repeat of the Chestnut Hill match, as Prestera and Baldi netted their only win on court three (8-6).
Down 3-1, the Lions once again proved their worth in singles competition. Sophomore Brittany Reedman secured a victory on court one (6-0, 7-6 [6-4]), while Allen cruised through two 6-1 sets to tie the match at three.
Rangu put the College ahead on court three, rallying from behind to secure a win in three sets (0-6, 6-4, 6-1).
Brandeis remained resilient, however, as the Lions suffered losses on courts four and five to tie the match at four.
As the importance of her competition unraveled, Prestera found herself down one set (1-6). Although momentum seemed to steamroll toward a Brandeis victory, Prestera mounted a powerful comeback, eventually winning in three sets (1-6. 6-3, 6-4).
The Lions (8-0) will return to action on Friday, March 18, as they travel to Fredericksburg, Va., to face Johns Hopkins University.