The Hopkins women’s tennis team took care of business at home this past weekend, defeating the Haverford College Fords on the Jays’ home courts by a score of 8-1. The Blue Jays emerged victorious again on Tuesday, beating the Gettysburg College Bullets 8-0 and the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds 4-3.
The Jays now stand atop the Centennial Conference at 9-0 in Conference play with just one match to go.
Hopkins had many strong performers this past week, but sophomore Anjali Kashyap earned herself the nod as The News-Letter’s Athlete of the Week.
Along with junior Sophia Strickland, Kashyap took the No. 1 doubles match from Haverford, winning 8-1. She then defeated junior Emily Shutman with ease, 6-3, 6-2.
Against Gettysburg, the Moreland Hills, Ohio native paired up with senior Chrissy Simon to win the No. 1 doubles match 8-1. She then refused to lose even one game in the No. 1 singles match, defeating senior Maria Martinovic 6-0, 6-0.
For her incredible play as of late, Kashyap was named the Centennial Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week.
Kashyap sat down with The News-Letter to discuss her recent success and expectations for the rest of the season.
The News-Letter: How does it feel to have been announced as the Centennial Conference Player of the Week?
Anjali Kashyap: It feels great! Special thanks to my coaches and teammates.
N-L: What have the seniors done for you both on and off the court during your time at Hopkins?
AK: Our current four seniors were actually “seniors” last year because we had no additional upperclassman above them. They are the most supportive, positive and hard-working people I know, always setting the right tone for practice and matches. I can’t imagine the team without them, but they’ve helped me tremendously with everything from school to tennis to life advice.
N-L: What have been the keys to your success, as you ride a six-match win streak in singles?
AK: I always try to focus on each point rather than the outcome. Also, to play my game and play to win rather than playing to the opponents’ game style.
N-L: You and Sophia have had a lot of success playing alongside each other in doubles. How has your chemistry developed over the course of the season?
AK: Sophia and I have been playing together for the last two years, and we are hoping to qualify for [the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s] doubles nationals at the end of the semester. We started out last season with a losing streak but have grown so much, especially this season. I know her shot before she makes it and she knows mine. We complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses and only hope to get better.
N-L: How do your approaches to singles and doubles matches compare?
AK: Doubles is fast-paced and only to eight games. Our approach is to take the lead starting from point one and remain aggressive the whole match. My approach in singles is to stay steady and consistent, grinding down the opponent until she gives in. I try to give 100 percent into each shot and remain mentally tough.
N-L: What are the team’s goals for this season?
AK: Our team’s overall goal is to win the conference and make it to Elite Eight. We’ve beaten the #14, #15 and #16 team in the nation, so hopefully our ranking goes up and we receive a good draw for postseason.
N-L: What are some of your personal goals for this season?
AK: My personal goal is to make it to NCAA individual nationals and win my first match to become an All-American.
Kashyap and the Blue Jays will wrap up their regular season on Saturday, April 27. They will take on the Washington College Shorewomen. Hopkins has already clinched first place in the Conference regular season, so they look to prepare for postseason play.