Women's tennis splits matches at home in final tournament

by Jack Barrett | 11/12/08 4:05am

Carissa King '12 went 2-1 in singles matches including a 1-6, 6-0, 10-7 comeback victory in her first match.
by Ben Gettinger / The Dartmouth

The University of Syracuse and the University of Massachusetts also took part in the weekend's play.

On Friday, the Big Green squared off against the Terriers of Boston University, splitting thier matches, 4-4.

The Big Green played without all of its upperclassmen as the team's four juniors, including captains Jesse Adler '10 and Mary Beth Winingham '10, are off this term, and captain Jamie Caplan '09 is injured.

Even so, Dartmouth had the edge in singles against the Terriers, led by a strong performance from Molly Scott '11. The Big Green number one was able to down the heavily recruited Stefanie Nunic in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

"[Playing with our younger players] is not a disadvantage because of our strong '11 [class] and freshman class," Caplan said.

At the four and five singles spots, the freshman combination of Shelly Carpeni '12 and Carissa King '12 followed suit, pulling out victories against sophomore Vanessa Steiner and senior Yana Sadovskaya, respectively.

Both freshmen showed tremendous composure in their matches, with Carpeni rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the second set to take the match, 3-6, 6-4, 10-5, over Steiner.

After a tough first set, King bounced back to oust Sadovskaya, 1-6, 6-0, 10-7. The freshmen's victories were especially impressive as both of their opponents had been first team America-East Conference players the previous year, each playing as high as number two for BU.

Ryan Reichel '11 dropped the number two match to BU senior Cori Lefkowith, 6-3, 6-0, while fellow sophomore Ashley Mitchell lost a close three-set match to junior Liz Carrao, 7-6, 4-6, 12-10.

In doubles action, the Terriers were able to equalize by taking two out of three from the Big Green to win the doubles point.

The team of Scott and Carpeni had a nice comeback win at first doubles, an 8-6 triumph over Nunic and senior Danielle Abraham.

At second and third doubles, however, Dartmouth was edged out by BU as another freshmen-sophomore duo, King and Georgiana Smyser '11, fell in a tiebreak, 9-8 (2) at the hands of Carrao and Lefkowith. Reichel and Mitchell struggled against Sadovskaya and Steiner, losing 8-3.

Saturday brought the same mixed results for the Big Green, who again split its matches, winning five and losing five against Akron and Temple.

Scott and Carpeni were able to continue their excellent play by making quick work of the Owls' Elyse Steiner and Dina Senkina. King and Smyser rallied from their close loss on Friday to top Temple juniors Anastasia Rukavyshnykova and Christine Clermont, 9-7.

Following a loss at third doubles, singles play began with Scott getting her fourth straight overall victory in straight sets over Steiner, 6-3, 6-2. Her doubles partner Carpeni won in dramatic fashion for the second consecutive day, topping her opponent Lucie Pazderova, 6-3, 1-6, 10-7.

At the two and four spots, Reichel and Mitchell had less success against Temple's other Eastern European players, both losing in straight sets to Senkina and Rukavyshnykova, respectively.

King lost at number five singles to Christine Clermont, 6-1, 6-2, allowing the Owls to pull even at 4-4.

The Big Green rounded out the day by getting a taste of its Sunday opponent in two doubles matches with the Zips.

King substituted in for Scott to pair with Carpeni in the first doubles match, and the freshmen pairing lost quickly to Zaruhi Harutyunyan and Anna Baronayte, 8-2.

To salvage a 5-5 mark on the day, Reichel and Mitchell defeated Tanyaradzwa Gombera and Jeremie Benjamin, 8-5.

On the final day of competition, Dartmouth dropped three out of five singles matches, falling to Akron 4-3 and finishing the weekend 11-12.

Mitchell and King dropped only three games collectively in their wins at the four and five spots, easily taking care of Benjamin, 6-0, 6-0, and senior Alyssa Carlson, 6-3, 6-0.

Dartmouth's top players, however, struggled with Scott, Reichel, and Carpeni each falling in straight sets.

Scott's opponent, Harutyunyan was named the singles champion of the weekend, posting an undefeated record of 3-0. Partnered with Baronayte in doubles, she was also crowned the event's doubles champion, going 3-0 again.

Scott's loss to Harutyunyan was the Big Green number one's sole blemish on the weekend in singles or doubles.

Despite a mediocre record this weekend, Caplan remains optimistic about how the Big Green was able to keep up with such tough opponents, especially with such a depleted squad.

"It's hard to judge how we'd do against these teams at full strength," Caplan said. "We don't have our normal lineup, so even shifting one person makes a huge difference."

The Big Green Invitational marks the end of the team's fall campaign. The team will resume play in the winter when it travels to play Richmond and Wake Forest in late January.