By JOE CLAYTON
The 28th ranked University of Mary Washington women’s tennis team swept Swarthmore College, 9-0, on Friday, March 29, to improve to 10-1 on the year.
I-95 holiday traffic delayed Swarthmore’s arrival, causing the match to begin two hours late.
“It certainly did not affect us,” said Head Coach Patrick Catullo when asked about the delay. “We talk about adversity all the time and good teams are able to overcome it and not let the situation affect the tasks or goals in front of them.”
The Eagles swept three doubles matches with Swarthmore. At one doubles, junior Lindsay Raulston and freshman Shelby Harris defeated Swarthmore’s Lia Carlson and Emily Rosenblum, 8-2.
Freshmen Mackenzie Smith and Paige Weinberg followed suit, as they also won their match against Epiphany English and Stephanie Chia, 8-2.
Senior Cassie Bowman and sophomore Alex Ritter completed the sweep with an 8-4 win over Katie Samuelson and Brooke Wilkins.
“Confidence, trust in our strategy and excellent discipline in our execution of points in both doubles and singles” were the keys to success for the Eagles on Friday, according to Catullo.
The Eagles were lead in singles by Raulston, an All-American. At one singles, Raulston took down Carlson 6-3, 6-2. Raulston is currently ranked second in Division-III Women’s Atlantic South region. Carlson is the third straight All-American that Raulston has defeated.
Harris, Raulston’s doubles partner, as well as Bowman and Ritter each won their first sets, 6-4. Ritter and Harris went on to close out their matches with 6-1 second sets. Bowman ended her match by winning the last set 6-2.
The most dominating performance of the evening went to freshman Chrissy Gaul, who took down Swarthmore’s Samuelson 6-0, 6-0.
Freshman Paige Weinberg closed out the singles matches at six with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Brooke Wilkins.
Catullo attributed the team’s success this season to “attitude and work ethic.”
“This is a great group of extremely experienced upperclassmen and talented freshman,” Catullo said. “They work hard every day to make each other better and their commitment is starting to show in the results. They now believe that they are, and will continue to be, a tough team to beat, no matter whom they play.”
This season has been built on these qualities of attitude and work ethic. With a team made up of “experienced upperclassmen and talented freshman,” the future looks bright for UMW women’s tennis.