When the Pomona-Pitzer women’s tennis team (4-1, 1-0 SCIAC) flew to Greencastle, Indiana, for the ITA National Indoor Championships on Feb. 26, 27, and 28, they had no idea they’d be coming home national champions. But as the weekend progressed, their dominance became clear: the Sagehens defeated their three opponents, winning each match by no less than five points.
On Friday, Feb. 26, the Hens came out against Washington St. Louis. Their nerves roiling in their stomachs, they nonetheless swept the doubles competition and won four of the six singles matches. Caroline Casper PO ’19 and Mae Coyiuto PZ ’16 made particularly strong impressions on the court, shutting down their opponents 6-0, 6-1.
At the end of the day, the score was P-P seven, Washington St. Louis two. The team was ready to take a breath and prepare for the next day of intense competition.
On Saturday, Feb. 27, the team faced Sewanee University, from Tennessee. The Hens at first struggled to pull ahead: After winning two out of the three doubles matches, the score was still only 2-1, too close for comfort.
They solved that as they controlled five out of the six singles matches. Shivani Doraiswani PO ’18 mastered her match 6-1, 6-2, while Coyiuto fought a more even battle. After losing her first set 6-7, Coyiuto struggled to pull out the win but ultimately triumphed, with her next two matches at 7-5, 1-0.
P-P again had seven points to Sewanee’s two at the end of the day. It was certain: The Hens were advancing to the finals.
And finally, Sunday, Feb. 28, the day of the national championship, dawned. The Hens were to face Carnegie Mellon, from Pennsylvania.
P-P started off the day well, with victories in all three of their doubles matches. The wins didn’t come easily, however. Joy Kim PO ’19 and Arianna Chen PO ’19 scraped past their opponents in a hard-fought 9-8 win, while Zhao and Emily Chen PO ’18, Lea Lynn Yen PO ’16 and Casper won 8-5 in the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles matches.
The rest of the day followed that tone as P-P swept Carnegie Mellon 5-0, winning the National Championship, and were rewarded with a massive trophy. Possibly more satisfying are the bragging rights. How many athletes, after all, can say they are national champions?
After a magical weekend, P-P tennis flew home in high spirits. They will next face Mary Washington on Saturday, Mar. 5.