Women’s tennis faces stiff conference competition at Fab Five Tournament

The Carnegie Mellon women’s tennis team competed in the Fab Five Tournament hosted at Washington & Lee University this past weekend.

Entering the tournament with a record of 10–3 and ranked 12th in the nation, the Tartan women tasted some of the country’s highest competition. They embraced the challenge and held their own.

The Tartans encountered stiff competition on day one against third-ranked Amherst College. Despite possessing the lower rank, the Carnegie Mellon women pried away a single win from Amherst when third doubles Alison Liu and Kelly Nakamura came out on top with an 8–5 win.

Unfortunately, this would be the only win for the Tartans, as Amherst finished the day with eight wins. The Tartans did not give up without a fight, however, as second singles Mona Iyer and fourth singles Liu managed to force their matches to three sets.

Unfazed by the loss, the Tartan women came back strong with a 5–4 win over 25th-ranked University of Mary Washington on day two, advancing to a 1–1 record.

The women started the day strong as they secured two early doubles wins. First doubles Amy Staloch and Sheena David won their match with a dominating 8–2 performance, and third doubles Liu and Nakamura added to the doubles victory with a solid 8–5 win.

The day ended victoriously as the Tartan women secured the first, third, and sixth singles wins, clinching their match. Third singles David overcame a grueling tiebreaker to secure the deciding match that put Carnegie Mellon over Mary Washington 5–4.

After the invigorating win over Mary Washington, the Tartans were not able to carry the momentum going into day three, as the team fell to the eighth-ranked Williams College 3–5 on Sunday.

Third doubles Liu and Nakamura would once again prove victorious with a win for CMU. They were undefeated throughout the entire weekend, a difficult feat given the tough opposition the tournament threw at the Tartans.

The weather fluctuated throughout the entire weekend, and Carnegie Mellon’s final match with Pomona-Pitzer was cancelled due to rain.

The Tartans finished the tournament ranked 14th nationally, but the win over Mary Washington solidified the Tartans’ regional ranking in fourth place — putting them on pace to qualify for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament in May.

“We showed we can hold our own with those guys in the competition. The women have played very hard, and it’s been an honor to be invited to the Fab Five Tournament,” commented head coach Andy Girard after the three-day tournament.

“I’m very proud of the women; they have done very well and shown that they can compete at a national level. We should be in very good shape for our upcoming matches and the UAA Championships.”
The Carnegie Mellon women are back in action tomorrow at the University of Pittsburgh.