Women’s tennis wins two of three against ranked teams

| Senior Sports Editor

Following up its spring break trip in California, the 12th-ranked Washington University women’s tennis team took on three ranked teams in Atlanta this past weekend and came away with two wins.

After opening their weekend with a 6-3 win over No. 19 Sewanee University on Friday, the Bears played a doubleheader on Saturday, falling 5-0 to No. 4 Emory University before turning around and beating No. 16 Tufts University 5-4.

The wins improved the team’s record to 7-4.

“It’s a lot of tennis in a short amount of time, and the girls did really, really well,” head coach Kelly Stahlhuth said.

The highlight of the weekend came in its final match, which took place on late Saturday afternoon against Tufts. Already having gone through one three-hour match that morning, the Bears were playing two matches in a day for the first time this season.

And they started out about as well as they could, with all three doubles pairings picking up a win. The top pair of senior Kate Klein and junior Corinne Rauck won 8-4 as did the second pair of junior Theresa Petraskova and sophomore Hanna Newstadt. Freshmen Aly Coran and Jamie Silverberg completed the sweep with an 8-6 victory at third doubles.

“Out of the three doubles teams, it was probably the first time this year that we had all six players playing solid tennis at the same time,” Stahlhuth said. “And they could see the results.”

With many players on their fourth match of the day, Tufts managed to pick up ground in singles and nearly closed the gap. But it was the two freshmen, Silverberg (7-6(5), 6-3) and Coran (6-1, 6-2), who grabbed two wins at third and fourth singles respectively to clinch the match for the Bears.

”I think that was actually the hardest match I’ve ever had to play,” Silverberg said, referring to the level of fatigue she faced en route to getting the team’s clinching win. “I think we were all really tired, and we were all really relieved when we got that fifth win.”

Earlier in the day, the Bears weren’t able to stack up to Emory’s depth. The Bears found themselves in a 3-0 hole after doubles, with the top two pairings of Klein/Rauck and Petraskova/Silverberg losing 8-4 and the third pair of Coran and senior Paige Madara dropping an 8-2 contest.

Emory then managed to take the first and fifth singles matches, and the four remaining matches ended unfinished.

The Bears didn’t seem to worry too much about the loss to Emory, though, and were even encouraged by some of the matches.

“In the one loss we had, we had a lot of really close matches against Emory, so it was nice to see that and to compete with them,” Coran said.

On Friday, the Bears began play for the weekend with a 6-3 win over Sewanee. After picking up a 2-1 doubles advantage, the Bears used wins in the third through sixth singles spots to take the match. The wins were collected by Silverberg (2-6, 6-3, 7-6(9)), Coran (6-4, 5-7, 10-7), Newstadt (6-2, 7-5), and Madara (7-6(4), 6-2).

After an exhausting weekend of matches and travel, Stahlhuth indicated that this upcoming week would be a bit lighter of a week in terms of training.

“We’ve kind of got to recover this week, physically and mentally. We’ve kind of been going pretty strong for about six weeks, so we’re hitting the home stretch.”

Wash. U. will face Principia College on Wednesday afternoon in St. Louis.