Women's tennis aims for many spring wins

by Tuni Bergey | 11/11/93 6:00am

Depending on freshmen for your team's success is college sport's version of playing the stock market with your entire life savings. You could wind up an instantaneous billionaire, or you could find yourself living in the streets.

The women's tennis team began its fall season with only four returning players and five freshmen. The Big Green, which finished 2-1 in dual matches, took full advantage of the fall's less intense scheduling to adjust to what was, for more than half the team, a new level of tennis.

One of Coach Chris Kerr's main goals of the season was to introduce the five freshmen to the team and to prepare them for the spring.

"The freshmen were put into some real clutch situations and performed well," Kerr said.

Exceptionally well, in some instances.

Elizabeth Baker '97, playing with sophomore Trudy Miller at third doubles against Boston College, pulled through in the day's deciding match with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win. Freshman Kallie Buehler also contributed with a straight-set win at the sixth singles spot.

In an earlier match against Rutgers, freshman Kelly Olsen held on at fourth singles to win, 7-6, 2-6,6-0.

"I was glad the freshmen were able to fit in with the upperclassmen so well," Kerr said, "The upperclassmen have been terrific in helping with the adjustment process."

Youth and experience joined forces in doubles as well. This fall's doubles teams were extremely strong, helping Dartmouth defeat many opponents.

Against Boston College, the team was behind 4-2 after the singles matches. Undaunted, Dartmouth went on to sweep all three of the doubles matches, to win the match 5-4.

"The doubles matches have been the key to two of our victories," Kerr said, stating that 65 percent of the team's doubles matches were wins. "But we need to improve our win-loss record in singles."

Regional team and individual rankings are not made public until December, but Kerr said she believes that the women have a realistic chance of having their first doubles team ranked.

With the exception of one tournament, the match-free winter will give the women the chance to work on their individual games. Due to a change in the scoring rules, singles matches will have much more emphasis this spring.

In the past, each doubles match has counted for a point, just as the singles matches do. But beginning in the spring season, the entire doubles set of three games will only be worth one point. Although Kerr was pleased with the doubles teams' performances, she says that singles improvement will be mandatory for strong finishes in the spring.

Looking ahead to the spring, Kerr feels that Harvard, a perennial powerhouse, will be the team to beat. Behind Harvard, though, competition for the spots from number two to number seven will be a wide open race, with a talent-laden Dartmouth squad sure to be in the hunt.

"They are really a team," Kerr said. "They have a great work attitude. They want to work hard, and they want to get better."

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