Women’s Tennis Ranks Nationally

Jacob Zuckerman

The women’s tennis team earned its first national ranking in the history of the program on March 28, securing a 30th-place ranking by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Following a strong 3–0 showing over its spring break trip, the team also moved up to the sixth-place spot in the Central Region rankings, another team record.

The team is led by nationally ranked senior Farah Leclercq and junior Brenna Sheldon. Leclercq and her doubles partner sophomore Grace Porter are 8–2 on their 10 most recent matches, while Leclercq individually is 7–3. Sheldon is 8–2 individually in her 10 most recent matches as well as 8–2 with her partner senior Preeya Shah.

Even with the team’s recent success, they’re showing no signs of slowing down. “It’s a nice pat on the back but it doesn’t really mean anything,” said Sheldon. “Now we have to keep working hard.”

Sheldon also mentioned that much of the ranking was the work of their head coach, Constantine Ananiadis. “We’ve only gotten so much stronger because of the work that he’s put in.”

Despite the coaches’ hard work, much improvement can be attributed to the girls’ effort in the offseason. Sheldon noted the entire team plays tennis in the offseason, taking lessons and doing anything they can to come back as better players. “We just really like playing tennis,” she said.

Looking back to the 2008– 2009 season, the team was unranked nationally and regionally, with one player individually ranked regionally. First-year Alex Kahn said,“[The ranking] is a nice achievement, but at the same time we still have more hard work to put in and more matches to win.”

The Yeowomen are currently on a hot 5–0 winning streak with wins against Ohio Northern University (ranked 14th in CR), John Carroll University, Carleton College (ranked 5th in CR), Virginia Wesleyan College and St. Olaf College (ranked 16th in CR).

In the meantime the Yeowomen will be facing Albion College, Kalamazoo College and Hope College (ranked 12th in CR) in the Central Region Shoot- out this weekend, before facing off against North Coast Athletic Conference foes including Wooster College, Kenyon College and Allegheny College, not to mention Ohio Wesleyan University and Denison University, ranked eighth regionally. Even with such challenging matches ahead, the Yeowomen still have their sights set on the NCAC championships at the end of April.