Women’s Tennis Takes on Regional Competition

By Andrew Rigas

The women’s tennis team capped its fall season off at the New England Women’s Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament in Mount Holyoke this past weekend, Oct. 17-19. All three Panther duos recorded at least one victory.

According to the tournamen’s format, opposing pairs would play two singles matches, as well as a doubles match against each other, and the winning pair would advance to the next round of play.

In the Gail Smith flight ‘A’ draw, — named in honor of the longtime Middlebury coach and her substantial contributions to the program — the pair of Alexandra Fields ’17 and Jennifer Sundstrom ’17 defeated its counterpart from Babson 2-1 in its first match. But Fields and Sundstrom were not able to repeat their success in the following round, ending up on the wrong side of the 2-1 this time against a pair from Williams.

Kaysee Orozco ’17 and Lily Bondy ’17 also triumphed in the first round of the Gail Smith draw, felling their opposition from MIT 2-1. The pair failed to get anything going in the second round against Amherst as they lost 3-0, ending their weekend earlier than they would have hoped.

Without no duo in the ‘B’ flight, the third Panther combination of Katie Paradies ’15 and Shannon Gibbs ’18 competed in the Chris Davis flight ‘C’ draw. 

Paradies commented that she viewed this weekend as an opportunity to showcase their hard work. 

“Shannon and I have been working to develop a strategy that maximizes both of our strengths,” Paradies said.

On Friday afternoon, Paradies and Gibbs trounced Smith in the first round, winning all three matches. They continued that impressive display on Saturday by sweeping Wesleyan and Nichols to continue on their quest to win the tournament in the final match that was set for the following morning.

Paradies attributed their success to their aforementioned strategy. 

“This weekend we were able to see our patterns and take advantage of offensive opportunities,” she said. 

It was not meant to be though; Paradies and Gibbs made all three matches count, but they fell to Babson Sunday morning in a close 2-1 defeat, ending their inspired run.

“We are not viewing this weekend as an end point but instead as a tournament upon which we can build,” Paradies said. 

The team will have a chance to do exactly that this upcoming spring when NESCAC and NCAA competition begins.