Sagehens Earn Split, Look Ahead to CMS Matchup

The Pomona-Pitzer women’s tennis
team took a split on Saturday, March 29, defeating SCIAC opponent
Occidental College but falling to No. 2 Williams College. The Sagehens, ranked No. 6 in the nation, traveled to Occidental in the
morning and shut out the Tigers for a 9-0 win. In the afternoon, the women
returned home to face 8-0 Williams, but fell 8-1 to the Ephs, who remain undefeated in Division III competition.

In the
doubles competition, the team of Marie Fleming PZ ’16 and Rosemary Pelch PO ’17 were
presented with the toughest challenge from Occidental, but prevailed after a
close start and won the match 8-4. The teams of Arthi Padmanabhan PO ’14 and Mae Coyiuto PO ’16, and Maddie Gordon PO ’17 and Claire Willey PZ ’14 both handily defeated their Occidental
opponents, winning their matches 8-1 and 8-0, respectively.

Sammy Chao PO ’14
was tested early in her singles match against Occidental’s No. 1 Keilani
Ericksen. Chao dropped the first set 6-7 (9-7), but bounced back quickly, defeating
Ericksen 6-3 in the second set and 10-6 in the third to take the match. 

Coyiuto, Gordon, and Mallory Roth PZ ’17 also delivered impressive performances, each defeating her opponent 6-0, 6-0 in two sets.

The Sagehens were able to include
players on their roster against Occidental who have not had much time in
competition this year. 

“I was
really happy that this weekend,” Padmanabhan said. “We got a chance to play people who are normally
not in the lineup, and they were awesome. Mallory
stepped in for the first time this weekend against Oxy and won her match 6-0,

In the afternoon, the Sagehens came back home to take on No.
2 Williams. The doubles team of Padmanabhan and Coyiuto took an early lead
against the Ephs and maintained momentum for an 8-2 win. The team of Chao and Lea
Lynn Yen PO ’16 stayed close to their Williams opponents early, but lost their match
8-4, and the duo of Fleming and Pelch lost their doubles match 8-3.

P-P No. 1 Chao took on Williams opponent Kara
Shoemaker first in the singles competition. Chao held Shoemaker, who is ranked
No. 5 nationally for singles, to a quiet start and won the first set 6-2.
However, Shoemaker bounced back quickly and won the next two sets 6-1 and 6-2. 

Coyiuto, P-P’s No. 2, lost the first game against her Eph opponent 6-3. In the
second game, Coyiuto kept the set tied at five games apiece. However, Coyiuto was
unable to push the match to the third set, and lost the second set 7-5. 

Fleming, Padmanabhan, Gordon, and Roth were all unable to defeat their singles
opponents, but also avoided getting shut out.

Padmanabhan described the experience of facing some of the
toughest competition. 

“Williams has been the top in
DIII tennis for the last six years, so while we had hoped for a better
result, there was a lot to learn from them,” Padmanabhan said. “We’ll continue working on
aggressive play, especially in doubles.”

Coyiuto said that she thinks that the team has become “mentally tougher” over the course of the season. 

“Even though Sammy Chao played two three-setter singles
matches, you wouldn’t be able to tell if you were watching how she
played,” she said. 

The Saturday split brings the Sagehens to 11-4 overall and
4-0 in the SCIAC. Next Saturday, April 5, the Sagehens will take on No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at
home. CMS has compiled a record of 12-6 this season, and is also 4-0 in the SCIAC.
Last year, the Sagehens faced the Athenas three times and were unable to come
up with a team win. 

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