By MADALYN CROWELL
The Mary Washington women’s tennis team, ranked 18th nationally among Division III teams, suffered a close 5-4 loss to 10th ranked Washington and Lee University this past Saturday morning at the Battlegrounds. The March 12 loss to the Generals dropped UMW to 4-4 on the season, while Washington and Lee improved to 9-1.
“I thought we played a very competitive match against W&L,” head coach Patrick Catullo said. “The Generals played a little better in doubles, and that was the difference in the match. I have a terrific team that is filled with talented and hard working players. They are playing with more confidence every match. We will address the areas that need work, and we will be ready for the challenges that await us.”
The Generals took the doubles matches 2-1, giving Washington and Lee the early edge. UMW freshman Lindsay Raulston and junior Casey Malcolm took the sole doubles win for the Eagles at the No. 3 spot. The Eagles duo defeated Washington and Lee’s Chelsea Mixson and Sallie Griffin, 8-6.
“Casey and I definitely played the most aggressive and best match of our spring season,” Raulston said. “We still have a long way to go, but our match against W&L was a major improvement to our doubles matches in California. I think we have a lot of potential, and I’m looking forward to really improving our doubles game.”
The two teams split the singles matches 3-3, with individual wins for UMW’s side coming from senior Megan Lawlor, freshman Lauren Gaspar and freshman Lindsay Raulston. Lawlor won the battle of No. 2’s, as she took down the Generals Lauren Lukas 6-3, 6-4. UMW’s No. 3 Gaspar edged Jen Snyder 6-3, 1-6, 10-8, and Eagles No. 5 Raulston won over Mixson 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 10-5.
Despite the tough loss, Gaspar kept a positive outlook for the team going forward.
“I feel great about our team this year,” Gaspar said. “We have character, talent and desire to be the best, [and] I have great confidence we will be going far. After a 4-5 loss our team was a little disappointed, but with more practice and matches, we will only be moving up hill. This is going to be a great season. I can’t wait to see what challenges lie ahead.”
The women’s tennis team will play at home again on Friday afternoon, as UMW takes on Bates College at 4 p.m.