Women’s Tennis Drops Kenyon Game Ahead of Championships


Photo courtesy of OC Athletics

Seniors Mayada Audeh, Jackie McDermott, and Sarah Hughes were honored Saturday for their contributions to the women’s tennis program throughout their four-year careers. The team dropped the first match to Kenyon College and dominated Ursuline College in the second match.

The women’s tennis team celebrated their three seniors’ final home game last Saturday, facing off against both their North Coast Athletic Conference rival the Kenyon College Ladies and the Ursuline College Arrows. While the Yeowomen dropped their first Senior Day matchup against the Ladies 8–1, they quickly rebounded, handily defeating the Arrows 9–0.

“We wanted it too badly, we were trying too hard [against Kenyon],” Head Women’s Tennis Coach Constantine Ananiadis said. “Sometimes you have to just play your game and not let [the fact] that there is a Kenyon jersey on the other side affect you. We [know] that they are good and that they are doing really well this year. I think we [were] getting the jitters out, [because] we will [likely] play them at the conference tournament.”

Against the Ladies, the Yeowomen quickly fell behind, losing their first two doubles matchups. Senior pair Sarah Hughes and Mayada Audeh faced off against a Ladies pair that featured No. 4 regionally-ranked Diana Aboubakare. While Hughes and Audeh managed to steal a few sets, they ultimately lost 8–3. Sophomore combo Rainie Heck and Delaney Black competed in the second doubles draw and were unable to win a game against their opponents. However, senior Jackie McDermott and sophomore Lena Rich pinned down an 8–4 win — the only win of the day against Kenyon — and added a point to their side of the scoreboard.

Hughes, who has anchored the Yeowomen thus far and once again played in the top spot, was later matched against Aboubakare in the top singles spot. She managed to fight a tight match, winning four games in the first set and five in the second, but fell to her opponent 6–4 and 7–5 in the end. Audeh and Heck, both of whom would later pair up to take on Ursuline in the third flight doubles, drew the No. 2 and No. 3 match-up singles against Kenyon. Audeh was unable to win any games against her opponent and lost 6–0 in identical sets, while Heck was able to swing three games in each set in her favor but lost 6–3 in both.

“Kenyon has a really good team this year, so that was tough,” Audeh said. “I think we played okay, but they were playing really well. Kenyon was one of the strongest teams we played all season. … We were all [a little] nervous because Kenyon is in our conference and are our rivals.”

The day turned around for the Yeowomen as they faced Ursuline, who are still in the beginning stages of setting up their newly-founded tennis program. The first-year and senior partnership of Maja Shaw Todorovic and Hughes found their footing in the first flight of doubles, beating their opponents 8–0. In the number two and number three flights, the scoreboard reflected the same score of 8–0 to add to the Yeowomen’s surmounting lead. The first through sixth flights of singles also reflected identical scores match after match, all of which were 8–0 straight victories. Not a single point was scored on the Arrows’ end throughout their visit.

Looking ahead, Hughes explained that the team is placing a strong emphasis on staying healthy, especially towards the end of the season.

“We are all just trying to get our bodies healthy for the [Allegheny Gators] match,” she said. “We are all feeling the effects of this long season and are all individually fighting some [injuries], so I think we just need to take this week and [use it to] take care of our bodies.”

The Yeowomen will next compete against the Allegheny College Gators in Allegheny tomorrow at 1 p.m. Next Saturday, they have their last non-conference matchup against the Ohio Northern University Polar Bears before competing in the NCAC Championships from April 27 to 29.