Women's Tennis Slams Slippery Rock
Despite the icy weather outside, the Carnegie Mellon women's tennis team began what is officially known as its spring season this past Saturday against Slippery Rock University. The No. 6 Tartans traveled to Wexford, Pa. and showed little signs of rust as they shut out their Division II opponents 9–0 in their first dual match since October. Their dual match record is now 3–0.
The Rock put up a good fight against the Tartans in doubles play, but the girls from Pittsburgh came away with the sweep, led by the ITA National Championship-qualifying duo of junior Ashley Herrick and sophomore Laura Chen. Herrick and Chen won their match, 8–6, while first-year Alex Tapak and junior Jennifer Chui also won 8–6 at number-two doubles. The duo of sophomore Courtney Chin and first-year Christina Brant finished out the sweep with an 8–5 win.
"This team was very tough," Herrick said. "I'm glad we came away with this win. The snow caused a lot of chaos with our practice schedule, so I was worried we were going into the match unprepared. I think this win against a D-II team definitely prepares us for nationals in a few weeks."
Chen shared her partner's sentiments. "This was a good match for us to start our season with. Match play gives us a level of intensity that sometimes can't be replicated in practice."
Slippery Rock senior Laura Handy gave Chen a run for her money at first singles, but Chen eventually came out on top, 6–7 (4), 6–1, 10–6. Chin followed that up by defeating the Rock's Sarah Lynch 6–3, 7–5. Tapak battled opponent Dunja Drmac and eventually came out with the hard-earned win, 7–6 (1), 7–6 (3).
"I was disappointed that I wasn't able to play as well as I hoped," Tapak said in reference to her two-hour win. "But after a couple of months without any matches, this was a very good way to kick off the season."
At number-four singles, Chui came out with a 7–6 (4), 6–3 victory, and Tartan sophomore Cze-Ja Tam handled her opponent 6–3, 6–3. To round out singles play and wrap up the shutout, senior Alisa Liebowitz made quick work of her foe, taking the match 6–1, 6–1.
"We've been working very hard in practice," Tam mentioned. "I'm super excited for this season, and I think holding our own against a Division II team is a sign of good results to come."
The Tartans also competed Sunday against Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa. Results will be posted on the Tartan website.