Women’s tennis took on the Washington and Lee University Generals on Feb. 26 in their first meeting since 2018. The Jays looked to bounce back from their season-opener loss against Towson University but fell short, losing 1-8.
The Generals started off the match strong by winning two out of three doubles matches. Junior stars Anjali Devireddy and Emily Javedan lost a tight contest 4-8 at first doubles. Junior Christina Huynh and freshman Aya Igaki-Meader were unable to overcome strong play from Washington and Lee’s second doubles team, losing 2-8.
The Generals continued their strong play into singles. Devireddy lost a close match at first singles. Javedan lost her second singles match as well.
Senior Amanda Ruci faced strong play from Washington and Lee’s junior Marta Mikos at fourth singles, losing 2-6. At the fifth singles spot, senior standout Jessica Liang won her first set 6-4, but junior Becket Waters of the Generals would rally back to win the match in a dramatic tiebreak.
Washington and Lee sophomore Kaitlyn Chalker held on at the sixth singles slot, winning a tight game 6-3, 6-3 against senior Sophie Saland.
Huynh played superb defense from the baseline, forcing Washington and Lee sophomore Izzy Koziol into several intense rallies. However, a couple of close points went towards Washington and Lee, which sealed the match for Koziol.
Junior Celina Liu and Liang won the Blue Jays’ only match at third doubles. Strong serves from Liang and aggressive net play from Liu allowed the pair to dominate the match, winning 8-2 easily.
In an interview with The News-Letter, Liu shared her thoughts on the game plan she and Liang had going into the match.
“This was only the second time Jessica and I had played a match together, with our first being a week prior against Towson. We were much more confident about how we wanted to dictate points and where we could capitalize on our strengths,” Liu said. “Some tactical adjustments included me being more proactive on Jess’s service game and seeking poaches at the net. Overall, I think we did a really great job playing to our strengths and our opponents’ weaknesses.”
Liu also discussed the team’s preparation for their next match against the Gettysburg College Bullets.
“We have a lot of things to work on before our next match, including doubles movement and drill patterns. I’m super excited for the rest of the season because our team has just been getting warmed up with these first two matches under our belt,” she said. “With the ice rink gone, we can finally practice outdoors, and our coach Dan Pollock can provide more individualized feedback. I think we’re definitely going to kill it against Gettysburg College.”