By MICHAEL HARVEY
The 21st ranked Lady Eagles tennis team had a three-match stretch beginning with a journey to Swarthmore, Pa. on Friday, back to Fredericksburg on Sunday for a 10:00 a.m. match and concluded with a trip to Saint Mary’s City, Md. for a 4 p.m. match. In just 72 hours, the team travelled 522 miles and cringed at the gas pumps; yet, were able to come home with three victories, even without No. 2 starter Michelle Meadows.
Mary Washington’s first victory was a close one against the Garnets of Swarthmore College. After taking two matches in doubles competition, and going 2-3 in singles competition, the score was even at four apiece until sophomore Lindsay Raulston defeated Lia Carlson to give UMW the win. The win gave Raulston her eighth of the season.
When asked if there was any added pressure being the no. 1 starter, Raulston stated, “Going from playing the no. 4 seed last year to the no. 1 seed this year I always feel an added pressure going into matches. I want to win not only for myself, but for my coaches and teammates as well.”
The victory gave the Eagles 11 wins on the season.
After the long haul back to Mary Washington, the Lady Eagles faced Washington College Sunday morning. The Eagles victory was never in doubt as they cruised to a 7-2 victory, claiming five of six singles matches and two of three doubles. In all, UMW won 84 sets to just 29 sets won by Washington. In the final match, the Eagles wrapped up their sweep with a 9-0 victory against the Seahawks of Saint Mary’s College. The win improved Mary Washington to 13-5 overall and 7-0 in CAC play for the season. The Seahawks dropped to 13-6 overall and 5-2 in the CAC.
The weekend victories were notable because the Eagles did so without their no. 2 starter and senior leader Michelle Meadows who strained an abdominal earlier in the week.
“I was really proud of my team for the three wins this weekend,” Meadows praised, “A few of the girls were put in higher positions than they’d ever played before and they really stepped up in big regional matches.”
Raulston echoed her senior teammate’s sentiments saying these matches were “tougher than usual because we have a lot of injuries that we are all trying to recuperate from right now.”
The team will have a week to get healthy as the CAC tournament begins April 21 with Mary Washington as the no. 1 seed. Meadows will return for the CAC’s even if she’s not at 100 percent which will be an added bonus; yet, they have not lost a single match in the conference all season (24-0 in singles, 12-0 in doubles), so it appears the tournament will be easy sailing for the Lady Eagles regardless.
Raulston agreed saying, “I feel like we are definitely ready to bring home another CAC championship for the school,” with Meadows adding, “This team will win CAC’s.”