SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – After defeating Smith College 4-1 in their opening match, Wellesley College tennis needed a third-set tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles to defeat host Mount Holyoke College, 3-2, on day one of the 2017 Seven Sisters Tennis Championship at Mount Holyoke's Kendall Field House Courts.
After posting a 2-0 record on day one, Wellesley is now 12-5 overall and will be in search of the program's first Seven Sisters title since 2014 when play resumes on Sunday.
Wellesley 4, Smith 1
The Blue earned both wins in doubles and wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles in the best two out of three format to clinch the victory in their opening round match with Smith.
Sophomore Tristan Lorich (New York, N.Y.) notched the first point for the Blue when her opponent was forced to retire during the opening set at No. 2 singles. Leading 1-0, Wellesley took a 2-0 edge thanks to a 6-0, 6-1 win by seniors Andjela Stojkovic (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and Caroline Dickensheets (Alpharetta, Ga.) over juniors Leigh Johnston (Kaneohe, Hawaii ) and Tess Ostoyich (Bethesda, Md.) at No. 2 doubles.
Fellow Wellesley seniors Carina Chen (Hong Kong) and Dasha Kostikina (Acton, Mass.) then clinched the match for the Blue with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Smith first years Emma Essenmacher (Delran, N.J.) and Kara Van Allen (Kalamazoo, Mich.) at No. 1 doubles.
Sophomore Justine Huang (Coto de Caza, Calif.) defeated sophomore Noa Dubin (Southampton, N.Y.), 6-0, 6-1, at No.1 singles, making the Wellesley lead 4-0, before Smith got on the board to end the match, thanks to a 6-4, 6-0 win by Margaret Anne Smith (Spring Lake, N.J.) over sophomore Rosanne Hu (Sugar Land, Texas).
Wellesley 3, Mount Holyoke 2
The second match of the day came down to a third-set tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles after the Blue and Lyons split the opening four matches of the contest.
Mount Holyoke jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a victory from first year Catherine Peabody (San Francisco, Calif.) over first year Korina Hernandez (Tampa, Fla.) 6-4, 6-0, at No. 3 singles. The Blue bounced back with the next two victories, taking a 2-1 lead when Chen and Stojkovic defeated seniors Alexa Colas (Teaneck, N.J.) and Amy Chen (Hilo, Hawaii), 6-2, 6-0, at No. 1 singles and Huang picked up her second singles win of the day with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Ching-Ching Huang (Lukang Township, Taiwan) at No. 2 singles. However, a 6-2, 6-4, Mount Holyoke victory from sophomore Ayame Yazawa (Tokyo, Japan) over Wellesley first year Sarah Yan (Holmdel, N.J.) at No. 1 left the match to be decided by the No. 2 doubles match.
Mount Holyoke junior Ishita Tibrewal (Kolkata, India) and sophomore Clara Wang (Madison, Conn.) took a 1-0 lead on Wellesley first year Selina Peng (Taichung, Taiwan) and sophomore Sojin Ki (Irvine, Calif.) with a 6-4 win in the first set, only to see the Blue duo return the favor with a 7-5 victory in the second set. With the match tied, Wellesley raced out to a 7-0 edge in the tiebreaker, eventually leading 9-1, before Holyoke closed the gap to 9-5. In the end, it was the Blue that closed out the match in dramatic fashion, winning 10-5 in the tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles to clinch the win, just minutes after Yan fell to Yazawa at No. 1 singles.
Wellesley continues the 2017 Seven Sisters Tennis Championship with a pair of matches on Sunday. The Blue will play Bryn Mawr at 10:30 AM, before taking on defending champion Vassar at 3:00 PM. For more information, check out the Seven Sisters tournament homepage.
Day 1 Results (Saturday, April 8)
Match 1: Mount Holyoke College def. Bryn Mawr College, 5-0
Match 2: Wellesley College def. Smith College, 4-1
Match 3: Vassar College def. Bryn Mawr College, 5-0
Match 4: Wellesley College def. Mount Holyoke College, 3-2
Match 5: Vassar College def. Smith College, 5-0
Day 2 Schedule (Sunday, April 9)
9:00 a.m. – Mount Holyoke vs. Smith
10:30 a.m. – Wellesley vs. Bryn Mawr
12:00 p.m. – Vassar vs. Mount Holyoke
1:30 p.m. – Bryn Mawr vs. Smith
3:00 p.m. – Vassar vs. Wellesley
Team Standings (After Day 1)
Vassar College – (2-0)
Wellesley College – (2-0)
Mount Holyoke College – (1-1)
Smith College – (0-2)
Bryn Mawr College – (0-2)