Middlebury

Women's Tennis Headed To NESCAC's

April 25, 2007

Middlebury has earned the top seed in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament and will look for the title when the 2007 NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship takes place this weekend at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass. The three-day event begins with first round matches on Friday starting at 1:00 p.m. and will conclude on Sunday, April 29, with the championship match at 1:00 p.m.

Fourth-seed Williams (14-3, 4-1 NESCAC) will face fifth-seed Tufts (11-5, 4-1 NESCAC) in the first match of the day on Friday, in what will be the first meeting between the Ephs and the Jumbos this season. The two teams most recent meeting came last spring with Williams edging Tufts 5-4 on April 13, 2006. The Ephs have won four of their last five matches, picking up a pair of wins over the weekend over NESCAC foes Bowdoin on Saturday, 7-2, and Bates on Sunday, 9-0, and are looking to return to the championship game for the second year in a row after finishing second to Amherst at the 2006 championship. On the other side of the court, the Jumbos are hoping to rebound from a first round exit from last year's tournament at the hands of Bowdoin by advancing into Saturday's semifinal round with a win over the Ephs. After a strong start to the season, Tufts has gone 2-3 over its last five outings, dropping its last match 5-4 to Wellesley on April 20. Leading the way for the Jumbos this season has been senior tri-captain Jennifer Luten (Clayton, Mo.), a three-time All-NESCAC singles and doubles honoree. Luten, who has won nine of her last 10 singles matches, broke the career record for wins at Tufts with her 59th career victory on April 10 against Amherst and currently stands at 61 wins during her four years with the Jumbos.

Friday's winner of the Tufts-Williams match will take on top-seeded Middlebury (10-3, 5-0 NESCAC) in the first semifinal on Saturday. The Panthers will look to advance to the championship game after falling short to Williams in the semifinals during the 2006 championship, 5-4. Middlebury has already faced three of the five other teams in this year's tournament field, posting a 2-1 record against the group with the lone loss coming at Bowdoin on April 14, 7-2. Although the Panthers have not faced Tufts so far this season, they have encountered Williams, holding off the Ephs for a 5-4 win on April 5. Senior co-captain Amy Roche (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), the 2004 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and an All-Conference First Team Singles selection the past two years, heads into the weekend with a 13-4 singles record.

In Friday's other first round match, third-seed and defending champion Amherst (11-4, 4-1 NESCAC) will battle sixth-seed Trinity (11-5, 2-3 NESCAC) immediately following the Tufts-Williams match. The Jeffs and the Bantams will meet for the second time in less than a week on Friday after the two teams clashed on Sunday to close out the regular season with Amherst earning an 8-1 victory. Five out of the six singles matches ended as straight- set victories for the Jeffs in the win. Amherst comes into this year's championship having won five of its last six matches, while Trinity is looking to return to its winning ways having dropped two of its last three outings after starting off the month of April with a five-game winning streak. For Amherst, junior Alicia Menezes (Staten Island, N.Y.) continues to impress in doubles play this season, as the 2006 NESCAC All-Conference First Team honoree is 18-4 in doubles play. Sophomore Amanda Tramont (Miami, Fla.) headlines a diverse class from Trinity this season, having won seven of her last eight matches for a 14-8 singles record so far this year.

Waiting to face the winner of the Amherst-Trinity tilt is second-seed Bowdoin (17-1, 4-1 NESCAC). The Polar Bears entered the final weekend of the regular season riding a program-best winning streak of 16 before falling at Williams on Saturday, 7-2. Bowdoin is the only team in this year's tournament that has faced all five teams already this season, holding a 4-1 record against the field. Against their potential semifinal opponents, the Polar Bears earned a 5-2 win over Trinity on March 31 and a 6-3 victory against Amherst on April 15. Bowdoin has had outstanding contribution from multiple players this season, including senior co-captain Kelsey Hughes (Shelburne, Vt.), junior Kristen Raymond (Dover, Mass.) and first year Brett Davis (Larchmont, N.Y.) in singles play. Hughes holds an 18-5 singles record heading into the weekend, while Raymond is 19-5 and Davis boasts a 23-3 record. In doubles play, Raymond has teamed up with Sarah D'Elia (Fairfield, Conn.), the 2006 NESCAC Rookie of the Year and an All- NESCAC Second Team selection, for a 20-4 record.

The format of the NESCAC Women's Tennis Championship changed in the spring of 2006 and features six teams vying for the NESCAC crown. Prior to 2006, the event was set up as an individual flighted tournament that included players from all 11 members of the NESCAC. Individuals and doubles teams were seeded in different classes, and a team score was determined on a points system that assigned a value for wins. The championship field is now chosen by a tournament selection committee, which seeds the six participating teams one-to-six, with the top two seeds receiving a first round bye.

Results of each match and updated schedules will be available at the conclusion of each day at www.nescac.com.

2007 NESCAC WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
First Round - Friday, April 27
No. 5 Tufts vs. No. 4 Williams - 1:00 p.m.
No. 6 Trinity vs. No. 3 Amherst - Immediately Following

Semifinals - Saturday, April 28
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Middlebury - 1:00 p.m.
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Bowdoin - Immediately Following

Championship - Sunday, April 29
Semifinal Winners - 1:00 p.m.
 
--courtesy NESCAC--

Semifinals - Saturday, April 28
Winner No. 5/No. 4 vs. No. 1 Middlebury - 1:00 p.m.
Winner No. 6/No. 3 vs. No. 2 Bowdoin - Immediately Following

Championship - Sunday, April 29
Semifinal Winners - 1:00 p.m.
 
--courtesy NESCAC--

Championship - Sunday, April 29
Semifinal Winners - 1:00 p.m.
 
--courtesy NESCAC--