Women’s tennis looks forward to Next chance with Williams

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Women’s tennis looks forward to Next chance with Williams

Middlebury College Women's Tennis

Middlebury College Women's Tennis

Middlebury College Women's Tennis

Middlebury College Women's Tennis

By ANDREW RIGAS

In Nescac and NCAA women’s tennis, the road runs through Williamstown, Massachusetts. The Ephs have won five of the last seven Nescac championships and eight of the last 10 national championships. The Middlebury women’s tennis team traveled to Williamstown to compete against Wellesley, Skidmore and Williams in the annual Lindsay Morehouse Invitational on Sept. 15 to 17.

Williams was Middlebury’s kryptonite last season, defeating the Panthers in the Nescac and NCAA championships en route to winning both. And once again, the Ephs proved to be Middlebury’s toughest competition, as the Panthers only losses came at the rackets of the Ephs in the round robin tournament where no team was crowned winner at the end of the weekend.

On Friday, the Middlebury doubles pairs of Catherine Blazye ’20 and Maddi Stow ’20 and Katherine Hughes ’20 and Skylar Schossberger ’20 took down two Williams pairs. Blazye and Stow defeated Juli Raventos, Williams’ top player last season, and Sasha Cayward 8–6, while Hughes and Schossberger beat Julia Cancio and Emily Zheng, Williams’ No. 3 doubles pair last season, 8–4.

Hughes and Schossberger were Middlebury’s top doubles pair last season, going 10–4 in that spot but losing to a Williams pair all three times they played.

Singles competition started on Saturday, and the Panthers won all twelve singles matches that they played against Wellesley and Skidmore. Hughes, Schossberger, Molly Paradies ’19 and Emily Bian ’21 each won twice, while Blazye, Stow, Heather Boehm ’20 and Ann Martin Skelly ’21 each got one win.

The battle with Williams in doubles continued on Saturday, but the Ephs got the best of the Panthers the second time around, taking three of four matches. The first-year pair of Bian and Skelly earned the only win for the Panthers with an 8–5 victory.

Doubles competition proved easier on Sunday as the Panthers swept Skidmore in four matches.

Middlebury matched up with Williams in singles for the first time on Sunday. Williams won four of the six matches, but once again it was a battle as four of the six matches also went into third-set superbreakers. Blazye defeated Raventos, a three-time first team all-Nescac honoree, after losing the first set, 5–7, 6–3, 11–9. Stow added the other victory by knocking off Cancio, whom she lost to twice last season, 6–4, 4–6, 10–7.

Middlebury returns to Williams for the ITA Regional Championships on Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

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