The women’s tennis team was not able to keep the ball in its court this weekend.
The Bulldogs opened their Ivy season on Sunday in Providence, R.I., where they faced Brown (15-2) in a contest that amounted to the Bears’ 11th-straight win.
The women (9-5) finished their regular season at No. 45, making considerable strides toward lower rankings after their Texas tour over spring break. But the Bulldogs snapped their three-game winning streak when they took only three of six singles points and no doubles point this weekend against Brown.
“Although the final outcome was disappointing, there were many aspects of the match that were positive and inspiring,” Janet Kim ’09 said. “Everyone fought as hard as they could, and overall the level of tennis was very high.”
Vicki Brook ’12, Lindsay Clark ’11 and Stevi Petrelli ’11 took their singles matches at the third, fourth and fifth singles positions, respectively. Jessie Rhee ’10 won her first game 6-4 in the second singles match but lost to Brown’s Casey Herzberg in the last two games.
Kim and Rhee took down their opponents in their doubles match, winning the only doubles competition of the day.
“I never have to question my team’s commitment to our goals and to each other, that they’re fighting with everything they’ve got,” Kim said. “We played with tons of energy, passion and intensity, and I’m proud of that.”
She said points were probably lost because the women were not stingy enough about every point in every match. The Bulldogs have been working to minimize unforced errors throughout their training. But in games where the level of play is very high and the teams are very close in talent on the court, taking advantage of every moment of play and not giving the other team anything to work with is paramount.
The Elis remain upbeat, however, that the match against Brown was just a warm-up for the rest of the Ivy season to come.
“I have complete confidence that Sunday’s loss will only make our team stronger,” Clark said. “We believe so strongly in ourselves and our abilities that we can’t wait to rise to this challenge and dominate the rest of the competition.”
Petrelli demonstrated a great amount of strength playing through a leg injury in her victory. She said that once she and her coaches decided that she would play, she was determined not to let any pain that she incurred affect her performance.
This weekend, the women will face Princeton and Penn on the road.
“We had a very competitive match against Princeton in the ECAC finals and we know we’re going to have another competitive match against them on Friday,” Petrelli said. “They’re a very good team and we know every single player on our team needs to be prepared to play their best tennis if we want to win. We’ve already shown we’re capable of doing that, so anything less would be a disappointment.”
What are Kim’s expectations of the Bulldogs next weekend?
“To win,” she said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”