Women's tennis rolls to sweep over Bears

By ASHLEY MILLETTE | May 7, 2012

In the past few months, the Hopkins women's tennis team has faced many formidable opponents including top ranked Williams, Tufts and Emory. While the Lady Jays did face several difficult matches and a few defeats, they have become a formidable team themselves, recently moving to the eighth spot in the Division III rankings. The Blue Jays secured their seventh win of the season last Saturday against fellow Centennial Conference school, Ursinus. Mastering both the singles and doubles rounds in their matches against the Bears, Hopkins came out with a sweeping win of 9-0. Starting off the matches were doubles partners junior Andrea Berlinghof and freshman Macie Wilkins, who pulled out an 8-0 win. Senior Courtney Boger, freshman Kaitlin Pfisterer, freshmen Shannon Libaw and Stephanie Rettig then followed with back-to-back sweeps of 8-0. Pfisterer, who cinched the 9-0 win for the Blue Jays, commented that their match-up against the Bears comprised a rather unique set of circumstances. "It was the first time this season that the girls' and boys' tennis teams were sharing the courts," Pfisterer said. Despite the extra action going on around the Lady Jays, Pfisterer, who's decision to come to Hopkins was greatly affected by its great tennis program, noted that she felt the Ursinus match was a great testament of how strong their team has become. "During this match everyone who was on the court played great and stayed focused, and those who weren't on the court at the moment were on the sidelines cheering the others on," the freshman said. "We also had a great fan section compiled of friends and family that came to support us." With very few loses in any of the singles games, the Jays came out strong all around with most girls losing only one or two games. Freshman Shannon Herndon stood out, clearing all games with a 6-0, 6-0 win. With such a positive outcome so far this season, Pfisterer stated that the Lady Jays hope to continue to strengthen their team and improve their record. "Currently, our team is ranked very high nationally and we hold the highest ranking this program has ever had. So far, we have had a great season and great results - especially against top teams. We lost to Williams 6-3, Emory 5-4, Washington and Lee 5-4, and we have beaten Tufts 8-1 and Dennison 5-1. These results show that we are right there with all of the top teams in the country, and we have a great chance at NCAA's. "As a team, I think our goals are to give everything we have and to pull through one or two more individual matches against the top teams so we can continue to improve and move forward." It is worth noting that Williams, Emory, Tufts and Dennison are all currently ranked above Hopkins, showing that even when facing the most competitive of teams, Hopkins is a force to be reckoned with. In a sport that is rather individualized, Pfsiterer states that she finds teamwork and camaraderie to be quite important. "Tennis is a very unique sport in that it has both individual and team aspects. Growing up playing tennis, we all have learned and grown to love tennis as mostly an individual sport. However, once we reached the college level, we were introduced to the team aspect of the sport and that has made the game that much better. "There are about 15 girls on the tennis team all with different majors, personalities and backgrounds, but we all share important things: the love for the sport, the desire to do our best and our supportive nature." Pfsiterer further commented that the frequent practices, games and travel help to bring the girls together. "I can personally state that when I am in a close match, just looking over and seeing my teammates on the next court or nearby cheering me on, makes me push myself to the next level as I have the desire to win not only for me, but for them as well." As for personal goals Pfisterer keeps it short and simple. "My personal goal for the season is just to do everything and anything I can do to help my team become better and win the most matches we possibly can." Keep an eye out for Hopkins's women's tennis in their next match against Washington College on Apr. 7.

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