The sixth-ranked Middlebury women’s tennis team proved they will be a force to reckon with this spring, opening up their spring season over the weekend with a 9-0 home victory over Hamilton on Saturday, March 9.
The match took place indoors at the Nelson Recreational Center, where the Panthers kicked things off by picking up all three points in doubles play. The No. 3 doubles duo of junior Maddi Stow and first year Nora Dahl secured a swift 8-0 victory over Jane Haffer and Sarah Bargamian, while the tandem of junior Heather Boehm and sophomore Ann Martin Skelly continued the streak with an 8-2 win against Ajla Karabegovic and Kat Roberts. Securing the third point for the Panthers was Middlebury’s top junior duo of Katherine Hughes and Skylar Schossberger, who triumphed 8-2 over Sophia Aulicino and Audrey Chor.
“This weekend we were finally able to put what we have been working on in practice to the test,” Hughes said. “We have been really focused on our doubles play these past few weeks and I think all our work really showed this weekend. It is great to be back from abroad and compete next to my teammates.”
During singles play, the Panthers dropped a combined four games, with No. 3 Schossberger solidifying the team’s 4-0 singles lead after her 6-0, 6-0 victory over Haffer. At the No. 4 position, Maddie Stowe clinched a 6-1, 6-1 win over Kat Roberts. Hughes continued to dominate in singles as well, cruising past her opponent 6-0, 6-1 in the top singles position, while Boehm blanked Chor 6-0, 6-0 in the second singles flight. Sophomore Emily Bian put the panthers at an 8-0 advantage with a ruthless 6-0, 6-0 triumph at the bottom of the singles lineup, and at one spot above, freshman Emma Gorman finished off the sweep with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Karabegovic.
“Our goal this season is definitely to win both a NESCAC championship and a national championship,” Bian said. “Last year, we came so close (second in NESCAC and a Final Four finish in NCAA), so we are all really excited to try and make Middlebury history by winning it all this year!”
With their sights set high, the team will continue to put the pieces together to accomplish this feat, as they take the countless hours spent over J-Term on fitness training and in the weight room to the court this spring.
The Panthers will play with another home crowd behind them on Saturday, March 16 against 18th-ranked Brandeis at 10:00 a.m.