The Blue are back in action this spring after a very successful fall season. They finished the fall season with a 10-2 overall record and a 7-1 record in conference play. They entered the NEWMAC tournament as the No. 2 seed and handily defeated crosstown rival, Babson College, in the semifinals. During the conference finals, the Blue faced off against top-ranked MIT where they posted a strong performance. In the end, they were defeated 5-3, but Coach Brian Kuscher believes their NEWMAC performance will help power the team through the spring season. “Our goal is to try and capture that competitiveness and drive to success [from the fall season],” he said. “We are looking to remember what we accomplished, be humbled by it and motivated to be better.”
Blue Tennis is set to begin their spring season during Spring Break in Costa Mesa, California, where they will face Concordia College and Cal Lutheran College. The team has been on the court preparing for the upcoming season for five weeks, and they are eager to begin match play. Kuscher has used the practice time this winter to run the team through multiple practices sets and matches in preparation for their competitions. The team has utilized video to breakdown serve and return form, which will help the players dictate the match pace in season. “The amount of energy that everyone brings to the courts every day, combined with lots of hard work, has made the past couple of weeks a lot less tough than spring seasons in the past,” said team captain, Carina Chen ’17.
In addition to Chen, the team is led by cocaptain Andjela Stojkovic ’17 and senior athletes Caroline Dickensheets and Dasha Kostikina. Wellesley’s team also includes six NEWMAC AllConference nominees and the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Sarah Yan. Sarah Yan and Justine Huang ’19 both earned first team singles honors, while Andjela Stojkovic and Sarah Yan were named first team doubles. Andjela Stojkovic, Selina Peng ’20 and Korina Hernandez ’20 earned second team singles honors and Rosanne Hu and Selina Peng earned second team doubles honors. Despite the Blue’s significant individual and team accomplishments this fall, Kuscher expects each member of the team to continue to push themselves and each other. “We need everyone to step up and contribute, whether in practice, matches, off court concerns or leadership roles. Everyone has a high level of importance for the success of the team,” he said.
Chen believes the team can use their success in the fall to push them to further achievements this spring. “The team finished the fall season at a really competitive place, and no one felt ready to stop. I think that we’re all going to work off of the momentum and resilience we had in the fall, and try to bring it to the spring. It’s not an easy task, since our two seasons are a good three months apart, but I think we’re all ready to get back into game mode and play some matches,” she said.
This spring, the team will compete against several top-ranked opponents in search of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament in May. “Every match this season is a big match for us, but we’re probably most looking forward to playing Tufts, Brandeis and Vassar. Those three schools are probably going to be some of our biggest matches this semester, and are extremely important if we want a chance at an atlarge-bid for nationals this spring,” Chen explained. The team will be on the road for the Seven Sisters Championship in April and will play their home opener against Tufts on April 5 as well as the Nor’easter Bowl against Skidmore and Swarthmore on April 14-15.