Women's tennis begins season, 2-2
By Elizabeth Quinn
The women's tennis team began its fall season last week with an 8-1 victory over Simmons College. The Engineers dominated, winning singles and doubles matches in straight sets. Although a minor competition, the win was a great confidence boost, according to the team members and their coach.
But confidence proved not to be enough over the weekend as MIT fell to two top East Coast region schools, Skidmore College, 7-2, and Vasser College,
The two MIT wins over Skidmore were obtained by the #1 and #4 players, Fiona Tan '91 and Co-Captain Catherine Gioannetti '90 respectively. Tan played hard, winning a tiebreaker in the third set over Heidi Heusner, who was ranked as high as 13th last year nationally. Gioannetti played equally well, as she kept the ball deep and applied constant pressure to her opponent. Co-Captain Dheera Ananthakrishnan '90 and Amita Gupta '91 also played close matches.
Although appearing somewhat sluggish, the team pressed on to play Vasser. "Against Vasser, we played indoors and on a very fast surface," Coach Candy Royer noted. "We didn't adjust in time, and were already down by the first set." Gioannetti was the only player to win her first set, and was one of only two Engineers, along with Ananthakrishnan, to last a full three sets. The doubles competition was equally disappointing, as the #1 match had to be defaulted due to an injury sustained by Tan and the #2 and #3 matches also resulted in losses.
On Wednesday, the team overcame their weekend losses, sweeping Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 9-0. With Tan sitting out from a pulled stomach muscle, each member played at ranks higher than usual. This made the win especially sweet, as most singles matches were won in straight sets. Gupta faced some difficulty in her second set, but came back strong in the third and won the match 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
Already 2-2 for the season, team members are looking forward to more successful matches. "The women have been steadily raising their game and are looking good," Assistant Coach Jen Hyman pointed out. "They have been working hard on nutrition, speed, endurance, and especially their mental game."
The women's tennis team will play Bowdoin this afternoon and Colby on Saturday. Tan is expected to play in both of these competitions.