The Bowdoin women’s tennis team went out with a bang this past weekend at the MIT Invitational. The tournament consisted of players from MIT, Tufts, Amherst and Bowdoin. Julia Ross ’27 made it to the final round in the singles main draw and also won the doubles consolation draw with partner and captain Lizzy Yu ’24.
After returning to the courts for the first tournament of the season, Yu expressed both relief and delight at how well the players harmonized with one another.
“Everyone just competed really hard, especially with us being a very young team. We have four [first years], and then one sophomore right now,” Yu said. “Me and Hannah [Buckhout ’24] are the captains, [and] three of our players are abroad right now. So it’s a very young and new team, and we just met each other three weeks ago. It was a little nerve-wracking.”
Despite Yu’s initial concerns, the team’s consistency and confidence were reflected in the winning matches of the tournament. The team has cultivated strong morale through weekly meetings focusing on individual and team goals for upcoming matches. Off the court, the players have also grown closer to one another by taking part in team bonding activities.
“Everyone meshes really well together. We’re literally a family. And I think when the abroad [players] come back, it’ll still be like a family,” Yu said. “All our personalities are really different. But we all work really well together. It’s always a good time when we’re around each other.”
The team is diligently preparing for the rest of the fall season, by striving to embody the “Go U Bears” mindset. Players verbally support team members in their matches to keep their spirits and confidence high throughout the emotional and physical turmoil of a match.
Head Coach Ben Lamanna emphasizes players’ individual strengths to help them develop skills they can use to improve their techniques from match to match.
“We always like to emphasize [knowing] who you are as a player,” Yu said.
The team is headed to Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) New England Regional Championship at Wesleyan University this weekend.
“The competition will be a lot tougher and fiercer,” Yu said. “[The MIT Invitational] was just a good runway to set us up for this competition this coming weekend. And, you know, kind of tell other teams, ‘Hey, we’re here and we’re ready.’”