No. 7 women’s tennis dominates NESCAC play over weekend

Sophomore Kiara Rose volleys a shot at the MIT Invitational on Sept. 16, 2017. (Evan Sayles / The Tufts Daily)

Tufts women’s tennis had a busy weekend, facing off against the No. 1 team in the nation, Emory, at home on Friday, and then competing in back-to-back matches against Bates and Colby on the road. The top-ranked Eagles took a 6–3 victory home with them, but the Jumbos came back in full force the 9–0 victory over the Bobcats and a 7–2 victory over the Mules.

“It was a very busy weekend,” first-year Maggie Dorr said. “So many great things came of it, and we’re progressing as a team.”

At the tail end of the double-header weekend, Tufts traveled to Waterville, Maine to compete against Colby. The Jumbos’ doubles pairings were on fire, and they completely swept the Mules. Dorr and first-year Caroline Garrido, senior Tomo Iwasaki and sophomore Patricia Obeid and junior Kat Wiley and first-year Anna Lowy all earned victories to propel the Jumbos to a 3–0 lead.

Tufts continued to dominate in singles matches. Colby earned its first point of the day with first-year Carly Levitz’s win over Dorr. Levitz is also the Mules’ No. 1 player and ranked No. 29 in the nation. Iwasaki, Obeid and sophomore Kiara Rose all won in two sets to give Tufts a 5–1 lead, squashing any hopes of a Colby comeback. Wiley continued the two-set win streak, losing only two sets in her No. 5 singles match with a 6–1, 6–1 victory over junior Jessica Tsai to secure the win for the Jumbos. Colby earned their last point in No. 6 singles to make the final score a 7–2 Tufts win in the last match of the day.

Earlier that day, Tufts was in Lewiston, Maine, competing against Bates. The Jumbos dispatched the Bobcats with ease, coasting to an impressive 9–0 victory. Dorr, Iwasaki, Obeid and Garrido all recorded wins in both singles and doubles for the Jumbos. Obeid’s No. 3 singles match went into a third set, winning 4–6, 6–3 and 10–3 against first-year Anna Rozin. Tufts first-years Nicole Frankel and Rose won two other tiebreaker matches in fifth and sixth singles, respectively.

“At Bates, we fought really hard,” Dorr said. “Our confidence definitely showed and we were all very proud of how the team performed.”

On Friday, Tufts matched up against top-ranked Emory at Winchester Tennis Club. Dorr and Garrido grabbed an 8–4 win against sophomores Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico and Defne Olcay for No. 1 doubles, but the Eagles took home the majority of the other matches. Nonetheless, the Jumbos claimed the final two games of the day, with Iwasaki’s three-set (7–5, 3–6, 10–7) victory over Olcay and Rose’s three-set tiebreak (7–5, 4–6, 14–12) win over sophomore Stephanie Taylor.

“We played really well against Emory,” Dorr said. “We all had really close matches and gave it our all. The score may have been 6–3, but it was a lot closer in reality … We can definitely get them next time.”

After winning two out of their three matches this past weekend, the Jumbos now stand at No. 7 in Div. III NCAA, with a 5–5 overall record and 4–2 conference record, representative of the NESCAC’s competitive nature. The team has yet to win a home match, but Tufts has an opportunity to change that when they face Brandeis in Medford on Thursday, April 11.

“Our overall goal is to just keep getting better as a team and in our confidence in each other and on the court,” Dorr said. “I think we’re all really looking forward to what this team can do by the end of the season.”