Stags, Athenas Ace Matches, Remain Undefeated in SCIAC

This past weekend was one of redemption
for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s (19-1, 3-0 SCIAC) and women’s (15-1, 4-0
SCIAC) tennis teams. Both teams closed out a demanding week of competition with
sweeps of their opponents, letting up just one match between the two teams.

The Athenas
squared up against the University of Redlands (10-7, 3-3 SCIAC) April 3 and
took home a win of 9-0, and then the Bulldog men met a similar fate against the
Stags, with their dual match ending in a score of 8-1. The Stags continued
their winning ways April 4 by sweeping Gustavus Adolphus College (11-8) and Westmont College (8-11, 7-3 SCIAC) 9-0.

As a top team in the conference, the
Athenas went into Friday’s match prepared to battle feisty competitors determined to knock them out of their winning spot. However, Redlands did not
succeed. The Athenas came out with a strong start
to Friday’s play, setting the tone of the match early with consecutive wins in all of their doubles games. 

“We jumped on them early with a doubles
sweep, and we kept that momentum through singles,” Caroline Ward CM ’16 said. “We
never really gave them a chance to sink their teeth into the match. It makes a
big difference mentally to be up 3-0 after doubles, rather than 2-1 or even
1-2.”

The
top-ranked duo of Ward and Katie Kuosman CM ‘17 did not disappoint, defeating their Redlands opponents with a triumphant score of 8-0.

“We are
both pretty aggressive players and like to be up at net,” Ward said. “Because
we have played together for a while now, we also have a good sense for where
the other is on the court and what types of shots they prefer to hit, allowing
us to coordinate our movements and be more successful as a team.”

The men’s
team echoed the women’s winning mentality, winning all six matches in straight
sets to pull away from Redlands and move to 17-1 on the season.

“Our team has really good depth, and our
top guys are also very solid,” Glenn Hull CM ’17 said. “Our depth allows us to
be able to substitute players at the four-, five- and six-position and still be
successful. Having strong players at every position is probably the biggest
single factor that accounted for our 8-1 victory.”

After a
tenacious match against his Redlands opponent, Hull secured his spot at #6 in
singles and is now 8-0 in dual matches and 15-2 overall.

Numbers were on the side of Gustavus
Adolphus’s men’s team when it arrived to Claremont with almost 30 players, but
a loud bench wasn’t enough to overtake the Stags, who won all six of their
singles and three doubles matches with ease.

“They were loud and tried to pump up
their players who were competing,” Hull said. “They definitely fought hard, but
we ended up pulling away from them pretty early in both singles and doubles.”

Gustavus
Adolphus may have had a full roster in Saturday’s matches, but the CMS women’s
team arrived just in time to see the Stags put away the win and raise the noise
on the sidelines.

“We
went to support them during their last match,” Bria Smith CM ’18 said. “Their
doubles are phenomenal. They work really hard, and it’s easy to see how much
they want to win.”

The
Stags ended a triumphant weekend on a strong stroke, defeating the Westmont
Warriors with a final score of 9-0. Despite having a few physical impairments,
the entire team stepped up.

“All
of our team got to play a match or exhibition which was awesome,” Hull said.
“During the Westmont match we had to rest a few of our players due to some
minor injuries, but the guys who came in played very well.”

With
only a few weeks left in their regular seasons, both CMS teams are striving to
finish strong.

“Coach Dave’s motto is ‘strive for
excellence,’” Ward said. “It is easy to get caught up in scores and results,
but in the end we want to focus on the factor we can control and get a little
better each day. The rest should follow.”

With
a nearly flawless season so far, the men’s team is closing in on an ambition they
have been working toward since the fall.

“Our big
goal is to win the national championships. Everything else compared to that is
minor,” Hull said. “Players have individual goals for their game, but the
overarching goal for the team is to finish the season #1 in the nation.” 

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