Women’s Tennis Dominant in Season-Opening Sweep
By Amro El-Adle '13, Managing Sports Editor
In their first action since last year’s disappointing loss in the NCAA semifinals to Emory, the women’s tennis team appeared flush with first-year talent in winning the USTA/ITA Small College Regional Championship.

Competing at nearby Babson and Wellesley Colleges, first-years Jordan Brewer and Gabby Devlin helped maintain Amherst’s dominance at the event, as Brewer locked up the singles title and later teamed up with Devlin to take home the doubles title.

Brewer was outstanding from the outset, as she tore past her first four opponents at a breakneck pace, losing only three games. In the semifinals, she went up against the defending NCAA singles champion from last season, before dismissing that Tufts player 6-2, 6-3.

The victory seemed to steel her resolve for the rest of the competition, as she quickly moved into the finals, where she dismantled the ITA singles and doubles champion from last year — an Eph, no less — 6-2, 6-0.

“Even though my semifinal’s victory was very challenging, stressful, tiring and pressure-filled, it actually strengthened me both mentally and physically for the finals because I knew how to deal with my nerves and what to expect from my body,” Brewer said. She became just the second Amherst first-year to win the singles title since 2005.

The Jeffs were one match away from watching an all-Amherst singles final unfold, as junior Laura Danzig also breezed through her first three matches, before besting a Williams player in the third set after digging herself out of a first-set loss. However, Danzig’s run ended when she came up just short in the semifinals against the Eph whom Brewer eventually defeated.

Senior Carlissa King also had a noteworthy run through the singles bracket, pulling out three match victories in straight sets before being ousted in the quarterfinals.

Her sister, Laken, also had a strong showing for the Jeffs at the tournament, winning two matches before falling in the Round of 16.

The women’s team also turned heads on the doubles end of the draw, with the Brewer and Devlin duo, who were seeded fifth, outlasting the second-seeded tandem of Danzig and Natasha Brown ’11. The first-years blasted their way past the top-seeded pair in the draw to reach the finals, while Danzig and Brown got through the fourth-seeded pair. The win marked the fifth time in the past seven years that the Jeffs have taken home the doubles title at this tournament.

As their strong showing suggests, the women’s team looks more than capable of taking the spring season by storm. Brewer expressed confidence that “we have talented, hard workers on the team and if we put our minds to it, we can use not only our talent but also our great work ethic and desire to dominate.” Their next opportunity will be the three-day Eastern Championships at Army, which begin on Friday.

Issue 03, Submitted 2010-09-22 03:44:36