Is it summer here, or is it just hotter in Claremont because the Pomona-Pitzer Women’s Tennis team (5-1, 1-0 SCIAC) has been heating up the court? The Sagehens currently hold the No. 1 ranking in SCIACs and are fighting tooth and nail to unabashedly maintain their status.
The Sagehens took on the University of Mary Washington Eagles (4-2, 0-0 Conf.) on Saturday, Mar. 4, at the Pauley Tennis Complex in Claremont. The Sagehens came out swinging, earning three wins in the doubles competition by serving up superb aces and crosscourt shots.
Doubles partners Emily Chen PO ’18 and Maryann Zhao PO ’18 were dominant forces on the court as they earned an 8-1 win over the No. 1 doubles team. This turned into the theme of the day, as Lea Lynn Yen PO ’16 and Carline Casper PO '19 earned a win the number two spot, and Arianna Chen PO ’19 and Joy Kim PO ’19 earned the number three spot, each with scores of 8-1 over their opponents.
The Sagehens continued their hot streaks, winning all six of their single matches against Mary Washington. Kim PO ’19 swept her opponent to secure the number one spot. Casper PO’19 also swept her opponent to secure the number two spot. This was followed by subsequent wins from Maryann Zhao PO ’18, Shivani Doraiswami PO ’18, Mae Couiuta PO ’16, and Emily Chen PO ’18 earning the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth spots, respectively.
The Sagehens attribute their 9-0 victory over the Eagles to their hard work and dedication, both on and off the court. With a team comprised mostly of first-years and sophomores, age does not define this fierce team of women. According to senior Mae Coyiuta PO ’16, each member puts up the toughest fight and the most heart in each match. She recounts how “at this point, the team is concentrating on building from the momentum and will keep working on getting better each day.”
Senior Lea Lynn Yen PO ’16 also anticipates the rest of the season, claiming the team is “looking forward to the tough matches coming up, especially during spring break, and are always looking to improve every match and defend [their] national ranking.”
The Sagehens also came into the match against the Eagles with an extra boost of momentum after their ITA National Championship win in late February. P-P coach Dr. Ann Lebedeff, states how “having won this event gives us confidence to know that we can compete and beat the top teams in Division III. During the upcoming season, we will continue to work physically and mentally to improve our doubles’ and singles’ games.”
Lebedeff also recognized that “each player on the team believes in our abilities as a strong and resilient unit, and we look forward to the challenge”. The P-P women’s tennis team will next face Washington University in St. Louis (4-2, 0-0 Conf.) on Sunday, Mar. 13. These women will continue to fight in their upcoming season, in pursuit of maintaining their league ranking, improving their play individually and as a team, and hopefully taking home a SCIAC championship.