Women’s Tennis Ready to Shine in Home Opener


Alex Guevara

Junior Grace Porter lunges for the ball inside the Heisman Club Field House. The Yeowomen will have their first match this weekend at home against Baldwin Wallace University.

Bronwen Schumacher

The women’s tennis team has high hopes for the spring after last season’s historic national ranking. Despite losing two top seniors, Farah Leclercq and Preeya Shah, both OC ‘13, team members feel positive about the integration of the three first-year newcomers, Emma Brezel, Olivia Hay and Anna Treidles.

The team will start its season this weekend when it hosts the Baldwin Wallace University Hornets on Saturday and the Case Western Reserve University Spartans on Sunday.

Last year, junior Grace Porter and her doubles partner Farah Leclercq had a winning season with a record of 18–9. Their record landed them an alternate spot at the NCAA tournament and contributed to the team’s spot at 25th in national rankings.

As a vetted top player on the team, Porter has a good idea of what she needs to do to solidify her wins for this season. “I am going to work more on my mental game — and this is common for most people — but I need to separate myself from the matches more.”

This season, Porter’s new doubles partner is first-year Emma Brezel. Despite only starting to play with Brezel at the start of Winter Term, Porter spoke highly of Brezel’s talent and net game, showing unabated optimism for the upcoming tough matches this weekend.

“Case has always been tough for us,” Porter said. “We always have a good match against them. They have a really strong doubles lineup, so it will be fun to go up and see how we compare with their doubles teams.”

Brezel is looking forward to the spring season and expressed her excitement to be on a Division III team. “[The mentality] is so different than high school. In high school, doubles was a joke, but in college people understand it more, so it’s a lot more strategic,” she remarked. Brezel emphasized her desire to be a constant source of success for the team, saying, “I’d like to be the person the team knows is going to have a win, that go-to person.”

New assistant coach Ben Turchin is eager to see the team in action.

“The first-years look great,” Turchin said. “Emma Brezel is going to contribute right away in both doubles and singles. Even though she is suffering from a wrist injury, she has worked hard to make adjustments to her game and will be a key player for us. Olivia Hay is a solid player with great volleys and net presence. I expect her to make an immediate contribution in our doubles lineup. Anna Treidler has made major strides in her game throughout the fall. She is a fierce competitor and really steps up to any challenge, which is a rare trait in most freshmen.”

The coaches still feel the power of their wins from last season and are looking to carry that strength into the first matches of the spring.

“We always strive to build upon the previous season and to better ourselves both individually and as a team,” Turchin said. “We need to take it one match at a time. We have a tough weekend ahead of us. Case is usually a tough match for us, but we enjoy playing them early in the season. It helps us see where we need to improve as the season progresses and as we play more high-level teams.”

The women’s tennis team faces five nationally ranked teams this year, including the Spartans this Sunday, Carleton College (No. 29), University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (No. 27), Johns Hopkins University (No. 7) and the University of Mary Washington (No. 21).