Securing its fourth consecutive win, women’s tennis continued its win streak with an 8-1 victory over MIT in its first home match last Saturday. The Polar Bears dominated in all of the doubles matches and won five of the six singles matches. On Wednesday, Bowdoin excelled again, beating Bates 9-0 in Farley Field House. 

“It’s good because we not only won, but won decisively,” said captain Emma Chow ’15.  “That sends a message to the rest of NESCAC and other top, nationally-ranked schools.”

With a record of 8-2, Bowdoin is No. 8 nationally, while MIT is No. 13. Bowdoin has a conference record of 3-0 after the Bates win.

“We knew this was probably one of their biggest matches of the season,” Chow added in reference to MIT. “So we were definitely going into it very prepared and wanting to win.”

Bowdoin gained momentum early on when all doubles teams won—Joulia Likhanskaia ’17 and Tiffany Cheng ’16 (8-3), Tess Trinka ’18 and Kyra Silitch ’17 (8-2), and Pilar Giffenig ’17 and Chow (8-1).

“Everyone was just really on point with their game,” Silitch said. “That just builds confidence for singles.”

With the encouragement of a 3-0 lead going into singles, the Polar Bears again delivered decisively. Likhanskaia, Cheng, Trinka, Samantha Stalder ’17 and Silitch all won their singles matches. Likhanskaia, Bowdoin’s No. 1, also featured as this week’s Athlete of the Week, pulled out a strong win over MIT’s No.1 with 6-0 and 6-2 matches.

Last Saturday was the team’s first home match since Spring Break, when the team traveled to California, as well as a return to action for the team.

“We’ve had a bit of a gap of matches where over Spring Break we played [eight matches in two weeks] and then came back and had two weeks basically without a match,” Chow said.  “It’s [been] getting back into that match mode.”

However, women’s tennis used the time since Spring Break to practice and focus on getting stronger, feeding off of each other’s energy.

“We’re really just keeping up the intensity in practice,” Silitch said.  “I think our team is really good about encouragement, building confidence…building almost cockiness really helps us.”

Since the team is made up of seven players, everyone’s effort has an impact on the final team score.

“It’s a really supportive environment, but everyone pushes you to do better,” Silitch said.  “They push you as a result of being so small. You can’t fade into obscurity, [which] definitely contributes to all of our success too.”

Against the Bobcats, the Polar Bears were even more impressive, winning all of the 15 sets in the match. In doubles, all three pairs won their power sets 8-1. Although Chow and Trinka were an All-American doubles team in the fall, Holbach successfully switched up the pairings for the spring season. As doubles teams, Chow and Giffenig and Silitch and Trinka have not lost a match this spring. 

 Silitch and Stalder were standouts in singles play, double bageling their opponents. 
The team faces off against Amherst this Saturday at Amherst. On Sunday, they will move on to play Hamilton and Skidmore at Hamilton. The following weekend, the team will return home to play Middlebury. The last matches will be played against Tufts and Williams, closing out the regular season. 

“[We’re] looking forward to these upcoming matches and leading into the NESCACs because we definitely want to win NESCACs and finally get ourselves a NESCAC championship,” said Chow.