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Women’s tennis sweeps Hamilton and Amherst in weekend games

April 12, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
GOOD LOB: Doubles pair Hannah Buckhout ’24 and Caroline Stuhlfaut ’27 high-five during a match. The women’s tennis team will face Bates College and Tufts University this weekend.

Over the weekend, Polar Bears dominated the tennis court against Hamilton College (4–5; 1–4 NESCAC) and Amherst College (7–3; 2–2 NESCAC), breaking a six-year losing streak against the Mammoths. After winning against Babson College (7–4) during its spring break tournament in California, the women’s tennis team is continuing its NESCAC season strong.

“Last year, we narrowly missed [Amherst] for five as well. We were looking for revenge in some ways. So it was really satisfying to get that result this year against Amherst,” captain Lizzy Yu ’24 said. “Last year, we left a lot of things on the table, hence we labeled this season as our breakthrough.”

The team attributes its win to high energy throughout the match.

“Having a lead going into singles is very important because it basically defines how the match will go energy-wise. And basically, if you have a lead, it’s a higher chance that you win. Of course, it’s not guaranteed, but it’s a higher chance. For our match against Amherst, obviously in singles everyone really pulled their weight. [We] were competing [our] butts off,” Cara Hung ’26 said.

The results of last weekend’s matches have boosted the team’s hopes for the rest of the season, and it hopes to earn a higher ranking for next year’s all-DIII tournament.

“The win over Babson was very, very big. And I think that was the first stepping stone for us to see that we can do this. We can beat teams that are higher ranked than us. We can beat these people, we can be ranked in the top ten. We should be right at the top ten,” Hung said. “And I believe our games since then just show that we can—and we are—going to do this.”

Unlike high school athletics, college tennis differs in that each member takes on a greater role within the team.

“Before college, tennis is a very individual sport. You’re just competing for yourself. So coming into college, you’re not only playing for yourself, you’re also playing for the whole team, which makes it much more exciting and exhilarating,” Julia Ross ’27 said. “That’s why energy is really important, [as is] cheering on your teammates, because you’re not just doing it for yourself, you’re doing it for everyone.”

Upperclassmen team members are also supportive of underclass members from the start of the season.

“[First-year athletes] have such a big impact on this team—each and every one [of them],” Hung said. “They have such a huge role on the team, and I seriously don’t think we wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

The team believes its traditions have also contributed to its successful performance. Hung said that among these traditions is a communal hype session in which the team listens to a mashup of EDM songs.

“It started when I was a [first year] and it just continued ever since. We always would listen to that song before we play the match and it gets us all hyped. We’re all in a good mood or good mindset after listening to it and it’s a good little pre-match routine,” Hung said.

The Polar Bears have remained undefeated since the start of NESCAC season, and are hoping to maintain this momentum as they face Bates College (3–9; 1–5 NESCAC) and Tufts University (5–6; 2–3 NESCAC) this weekend.

“Tufts will be another career-defining win for our team. They’re a very high ranked team. They’ve … traditionally beaten us,” Hung said. “But … the way we are right now, I think we have the talent and the skills to beat them.”


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