Tennis posts upset in Nor’easter Bowl play

Wellesley upends Bates, falls to Trinity, Brandeis

By  EMILY BARY ’14

Staff Writer

Courtesy of John Rich  

Courtesy of John Rich

Blue tennis posted a series of strong showings in the Nor’Easter Bowl home invitational this past weekend, falling just short against nationally-ranked Trinity and Brandeis with a pair of 5-4 losses, but easily beating Bates 7-2.

Wellesley, seeded seventh, opened the tournament on Friday, April 4 with a match against second-seeded Trinity College, ranked 14th in Division III. All three doubles teams notched tight wins to open the match, putting Wellesley up 3-0 heading into singles play. The Blue then dropped four heartbreaking three-setters as well as one straight-set match, so the win by Lina Ye ’17 at fourth singles wasn’t enough to put the Blue over the top.

The team then moved on to the consolation bracket and faced another nationally-ranked opponent in Bates on Saturday, April 5. Wellesley registered a series of convincing wins on the day, with the top two doubles teams of Sojung Lee ’15/Carina Chen ’17 and Andjela Stojkovic ’17/Ye coming up with big wins to give the Blue a 2-1 lead. Chen, Lee, Ye, Kendall Tada ’14 and Dasha Kostikina ’17 then notched victories in singles action.

“Saturday was especially cold and windy, but I think our team was mentally stronger than Bates, so we were able to handle the conditions and pull out a definitive win,” Tada said.

Wellesley was looking for revenge on Sunday, after having fallen to Brandeis in a 5-4 nailbiter just a few weeks earlier. Lee/Chen and Stojkovic/Ye once again got Wellesley off to a good start with a pair of 8-4 doubles wins against the Judges.

The Blue then hung tight in singles action, though Tada, Stojkovic and Chen were first off the court with losses. Wellesley’s hopes rested on a series of three-setters.

Samantha Stone ’17 battled back after dropping the second set at sixth singles, and Lee recovered after initially losing the first set to level the team score at 4-4. She posted a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (5) win at the top spot despite being down for much of the second and third sets.

Ye’s fourth-singles match proved to be the deciding point, but there was no justice for the Blue as the Judges again came out on top.

Sunday also marked Tada’s senior day, which the team celebrated with flowers, speeches and signs in honor of Tada’s last home match with the Blue.

“I am going to miss playing for this team and this school,” Tada said. “I’ve had a great time over my four years. I know I will never be able to experience this team environment again or spend as much time with my teammates.”

Wellesley boasted a young squad this year, with six first-years and only two upperclasswomen. Though many of the players lacked collegiate experience, they’ve come together nicely throughout the fall and spring seasons, as evidenced by the depth in the Blue’s lineup and Wellesley’s strength in doubles action.

The Blue look to wrap up their season this weekend with the Seven Sisters tournament at Bryn Mawr College. Wellesley finished as the runner up in Seven Sisters play during the last two seasons.

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