Lewis Leads Streak in Women’s Tennis


Oberlin College Athletics Department

Ariel Lewis shows off her backhand in a match against Baldwin-Wallace College.

Phoebe Hammer, Staff Writer

The women’s tennis team left its home court with an 8–1 victory over Otterbein University this Saturday, adding another win to its now 4–1 record.

“[Otterbein] is a solid team,” said sophomore Brenna Sheldon. “They are the kind of team that, in the past, if we had made mistakes, they would have gotten us back.” This year, the new team is solid at every position and the Otterbein Cardinals never even came close to outmatching their opponents.

The success began early in the doubles competition. Senior Finley Gates and first-year Grace Porter played a competitive match in the No. 1 spot and were able to defeat their opponents 8–4 in a back-and-forth battle. Senior sensation Ariel Lewis and classmate Carolyn Ball then easily overcame their opponents in an 8–1 match. In the No. 3 spot Sheldon and junior Preeya Shah defeated their opponents as well, coming out 8–2. This secured a 3–0 lead for the Yeowomen at the end of doubles competition.

In singles competition, the Yeowomen won four of their five matches in straight sets. Lewis demonstrated her talent in a 6–1, 6–4 victory over the Cardinals’ No. 1 player. Sheldon, in the No. 4 spot, came out with 6–0, 6–1 wins. Senior Rebecca Brown defeated her opponents 6–0, 6–2, and Shah won both of her sets 6–1. Porter lost her second set but came back strong, adding another victory for the Yeowomen.

This Sunday, Lewis was named North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week, giving the women’s tennis team another reason to celebrate. Lewis, who has now been a three-time All-NCAC First-Team selection, currently has 76 career wins in singles play and 50 wins in doubles action.

“She is one of the smartest tennis players I’ve seen,” commented Sheldon. “She just knows how to win. She is a counter-player. She wears people down and will never miss.”

Lewis is not the only strong player on the roster, however. With five seniors and many talented underclassmen, this is one of the best women’s tennis teams Oberlin has ever seen.

“The No. 9 can hit with the No. 1,” Sheldon explained. “We’ve never had such a deep team before.” The Yeowomen are currently ranked 19th in the region.

Women’s tennis will be able to show just how far it’s come when it leaves on a long trip to Indiana this weekend to take on regionally ranked Luther College Feb. 25.

“Last year, we lost to [Luther] 9–0 and it was a four-hour match, meaning that every single spot on the team was close. And this year we are much deeper,” Sheldon explained.

After their match against Luther College, the Yeowomen will stay on the road to compete against DePauw University Feb. 26.