Despite this Week’s Losses, Women’s Tennis Maintains Winning Record

Phoebe Hammer, Staff Writer

This week the women’s tennis team fell 5–4 in a close match against their regional rivals from Cleveland, 14th-ranked Case Western Reserve University. Tensions were high for the Yeowomen, ranked 19th in the region, who almost eked out the win.

As per usual, senior Ariel Lewis put up one of the games highlights by upsetting Case’s Erika Lim, the Central Region’s 2nd ranked player in straight sets of 6–3, 6–4. Junior Preeya Shah and senior Carolyn Ball, in the No.5 and No.6 spots, respectively, also came out strong in singles play. Shah beat her opponent 6–3, 6–3, while Ball easily won her matches 6–2, 6–3.

Doubles competition was evenly matched, which head coach Constantine Ananiadis called “good tennis against good tennis.” In the No.2 spot, Lewis and Ball earned a victory for Oberlin, winning their match 8–4. In the No.1 spot, Case was able to gain a tight victory over Senior Finley Gates and first-year Grace Porter in a final score of 8–6. Shah and sophomore Brenna Sheldon fell at the No.3 spot with a score of 8–3.

Despite losing two of three this week, Ananiadis insisted the doubles pairings are reason for confidence as the season moves forward.

“Our doubles is getting better every time we step on the court,” Ananiadis said. “These three doubles combos we have out there right now are by far the most balanced and best I’ve put out there in my five years here. We can win doubles points against anyone on all three spots.”

Doubles aren’t the only thing going well for the Yeowomen, who despite the loss have a winning 5–4 record so far this season.

“This is the deepest team we’ve had in years,” Ananiadis explained. “We won solidly at No. 5 and No.6 singles versus Case, and our next player in line [senior Co-Captain Rebecca Brown] is as good as anyone in our line-up. That gives us great peace of mind.”

The Yeowomen will need to utilize their depth in what should be a difficult weekend ahead of them. They take on Division I University of Dayton this Saturday.

“We’re not conceding the Dayton match, but we realistically know that they are a very-very strong scholarship team,” commented Ananiadis. Still, the coach insists that “it’s a great ‘practice’ opportunity for us playing these out-of-division matches.”

Ananiadis is optimistic that after the Dayton match the path will be clear for the Yeowomen to win the rest of their regular season games.

“Winning out the rest of our season will entail us continuing to improve, staying focused on each and every match, and above all staying healthy,” he explained. “But there isn’t one team left on our schedule after this weekend that I’m thinking ‘this one will be improbable for us to win.’ ”

This attitude, fueled by Coach Ananiadis and sustained by the rest of the team, will allow the Yeowomen to have one of the most successful seasons women’s tennis has ever seen.