Women's tennis advances to finals, finishes 11-3
In an impressive showing, the Dartmouth women's tennis team went 11-3 on the first day of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Women's College Invitational in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., on Saturday. The team went on to advance five singles players into the semi-finals of the tournament and one doubles team all the way to the finals on Sunday.
Despite being challenged by the sun and wind of outdoor play and the professional grade courts, co-captain Ryan Reichel '11 emphasized that the team had a lot of fun competing this weekend.
"This tournament was great," she said. "We had beautiful weather, and it was just a lot of fun."
Head coach Bob Dallis said that the team competed hard and played well overall.
The team went 5-1 in singles, although one of its key players, co-captain Molly Scott '11, is currently injured. The underclassmen proved crucial in the tournament Melissa Matsuoka '14, Rachel Decker-Sadowski '14 and Christina Danosi '13 all won their singles matches. In a crucial game, Sabrina Stewart '14 defeated Ivy League foe, University of Pennsylvania freshman Ilana Dreyfuss 6-2, 6-1. Reichel and co-captain Georgiana Smyser '11 also won their matches.
Reichel said that the tournament provided great experience for the underclassmen, which was important because this year the team is very young.
"Two of our freshmen were competing with us for the first time after they spent part of preseason injured," she said. "It was great to see them play their first college tennis matches, and every match is just more experience under our belt."
The Big Green's dominance in the doubles matches was equally impressive, as the team went 6-2 for the day. Despite losing their first match, Smyser and Decker-Sadowksi were able to come back with a defeat over Charleston Southern in flight B.
Adding to the doubles victories, Jeri Reichel '13 and Danosi won both of their flight C matches, while Reichel and Valeriya Tatisheva '14 won all of their matches in flight D.
On Sunday, Dartmouth sent five singles to the semi-finals, and although no players advanced beyond that, Reichel said the team was pleased with its ability to send so many players to the semifinals.
"After the success of Saturday, everyone competed well on Sunday," Reichel said. "As we got further, the matches were a lot more competitive, so we had more of a mixed bag results, but we still did well."
Reichel and Danosi advanced to the doubles finals Sunday, but could not stay for Monday's final game, as one team member had an exam the following day.
Although the team was successful in the tournament, there is room for improvement as the team prepares for future tournaments, Dallis said. He cited backhand swing volleys and overall court positioning as specific things the team could hone in on.
"We played hard, but there is always room for improvement," Dallis said.
The Dartmouth women's tennis team will next host Regionals from Oct. 22 to Oct. 26 in Hanover, N.H. Reichel said the team is looking forward to competing on its home court.
"We are super excited to host Regionals this year," said Reichel. "We just hope to get a lot of home support."
Dallis said he expects "outstanding performances" from members of the team, adding that the team's ultimate goal is, as always, to win an Ivy League title this year.