April 7, 2012

Tufts Tops Wellesley Tennis in Nor’Easter Bowl Semifinal

WELLESLEY, Mass. – Tufts University topped Wellesley College, 7-2, in the semifinals of the 2012 Nor'Easter Bowl on Saturday.  The second-seeded Jumbos swept a tight doubles competition, setting the tone for the victory over the third-seeded Blue.

Tufts got on the board first as Lindsay Katz and Eliza Flynn posted an 8-3 victory in second doubles over Wellesley's Diana Granger and Erica Choo. At three doubles, Wellesley's Melissa Clark and Kendall Tada battled back from a 6-1 deficit against Tufts' Samantha Gann and Janice Lam, but Gann and Lam held on for the 8-6 victory, putting the Jumbos up, 2-0. At one doubles, Tufts' Shelci Bowman and Sophie Schonfeld came out on top of a marathon match, 9-8, against Wellesley's Marie Watanabe and Sojung Lee, giving Tufts the 3-0 doubles sweep.

In singles play, Tufts won at two, three, four and six, to complete the 7-2 victory. At two, Bowman dropped the first set against Wellesley's Choo, but rebounded for the 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. At three, Flynn topped Clark, 7-5, 6-1, while Gann defeated Granger, 6-3, 6-1, at four. Tufts got its final point at six, where Lam beat Tada, 6-3, 6-2.

Wellesley picked up points at one and five. Watanabe was a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Katz in the first flight, while Lee topped Kimmel, 6-3, 6-2, at five.

Tufts, ranked #12 in the latest ITA poll, improves to 5-3 on the season. Wellesley, the 18th-ranked team, dips to 12-3.

The match served as Senior Day for Wellesley's lone member of the Class of 2012, Marie Watanabe. Before the match, Watanabe was honored for her contributions to the tennis program. A two-time NEWMAC Player of the Year, she will graduate with one of the top records in the program's history. 

The three-day Nor'Easter Bowl features six of the top 30 teams in the country in Division III tennis. The tournament concludes tomorrow with Amherst and Tufts squaring off in the title match at 11:00am. Also at 11:00am, Wellesley will battle Skidmore for third place, while Bates and Brandeis will play for fifth.  MIT and Puerto Rico Mayaguez will play for seventh place at 9:00am.


Other Nor'Easter Bowl Matches:

Amherst 9, Skidmore 0
Top seeded Amherst cruised through its semifinal, posting a sweep over fifth-seeded Skidmore. The Lord Jeffs won seven of the nine matches in straight sets, with the Thoroughbreds taking sets in three and six singles.

Brandeis 9, PR Mayaguez 0
Sixth-seeded Brandeis swept eighth-seeded Puerto Rico Mayaguez to advance to the 5th/6th place final. The Judges dominated doubles and won the first five singles matches in straight sets. 
 
Bates 5, MIT 4
In the closest match of the day, sixth-seeded Bates topped seventh-seeded MIT. Bates took a 2-1 lead after doubles, but MIT tied the match with wins at second, third and fourth singles. The team victory came down to the first flight match, with Bates' Mandzhukova topping MIT's Vishnevetsky, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.