Tennis: P-P Hangs Tough vs. Nation’s Top Teams

Despite an injury that sidelined former national champion, Siobhan Finicane PO ’10 and her doubles partner, Olivia Muesse PO ‘11, the Sagehens have remained in the top 10 of the ITA Division-III national rankings for the entire season. The team’s victory despite Finicane and Muesse’s absence proves just how far this team is progressing in the SCIAC playoffs.

Pomona-Pitzer played a tough slate of spring break games, in which seven of their nine opponents were ranked nationally. Four of those opponents were ranked in the top 10. Amherst and Williams—opponents in consecutive games in the schedule – are currently ranked first and second overall.

In this time of March Madness, the strength of the Sagehens’ schedule cannot be matched. But how did they play?

The eighth-ranked Sagehens held their own against the tough competition. P-P lost to top-ranked Amherst (1-8), second-ranked Williams (2-7), and tenth-ranked Carnegie Mellon (3-6). However, they defeated ninth-ranked Gust. Adolphus 5-4, as well as top-25 teams Vassar, Trinity (Tex.), and Bowdoin.

The team currently has a 9-3 record, 3-0 in league. Oh, yes, and Finicane is now back.

Though the Sagehens lost some of their key players from last year, the 2010 women’s team has won many matches with the help of its freshmen rookies, two of whom play together in the number one doubles team as well as competing in the top three for singles.

Freshmen Kara Wang PO and Jamie Solomon PI comprise the number-one doubles team. Solomon is playing in the number-two and Wang in the number-three spot for singles.

Sophomores and doubles partners Nicole Holsted PO and Emily Kawahara PI are other players to watch this season. Last season, Holsted’s record was 21-3. In her game this past Sunday, she came back from a heel injury to win her match. Meanwhile, Kawahara looks to be having a breakout year.

The depth and youth of the Sagehens complement the strong senior leadership of Finicane. The only problem for the team will be avoiding injuries.

However, recent injuries have not limited the team’s record. The Hens have been able to play well this season because of the preseason training and captain’s practices they had all fall.

Said Finicane, “Everyone works so hard on the team.”

As a result of all their conditioning and preseason work, the Hens have, as Courtney Hamilton PO ‘13 says, “ironed out the kinks.”

Last year, the Hens’ top doubles team—Finicane and Muesse—was ranked first on the west coast and seventh in the nation. The team overall placed in the final eight at NCAAs, and the top doubles team made the NCAA finals.

The overall goal of this year’s team is to make it to the final eight for a fourth consecutive year.

Though this year’s team lost five seniors, including number-two singles player and number-two doubles player Becca Lange, it is a talented squad that could very well make it to the final eight again.

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