An impressive 5-2 victory over no. 50 Old Dominion University (18-5, 2-2 CAA) Tuesday gave the no. 55 College of William and Mary (8-11, 1-2 CAA) its first CAA triumph of the season. The Tribe returned two days later only to be beaten 6-1 by no. 1 Northwestern University (18-1, 6-0 Big Ten).
Despite its tough loss to the top-ranked Wildcats, the Tribe played some of its best tennis of the year against the Monarchs.
“Tuesday was definitely the best example of the team coming together on the same day and everyone just putting everything into it,” Head Coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said. “The way they competed against ODU, that is an example of what they are capable of, and if they can compete like that, they can win [the CAA].”
After dropping the doubles point, the Tribe reeled off five singles victories to collect the win.
Senior Katarina Zoricic lost her first set, but battled through a right foot injury to win the next two sets en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) decision.
“I had Kat out there in excruciating pain, refusing to come off the court,” Geiger-Walton said. “She was just going to find a way to win. It was pure mental toughness.”
Juniors Ragini Acharya and Carmen Pop also took their matches to three sets. Acharya sealed the College’s victory with her 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 decision.
The no. 1 Wildcats proved a different story for the College. However, not everything went as planned for the Northwestern squad.
The Wildcats’s no. 14 doubles duo of Georgia Rose and Lauren Lui fell victim to the Tribe’s tandem of no. 48 Zoricic and Acharya. After being broken in the first game, the College’s pair battled back with a third game rally before breaking the Northwestern team in the ninth and 11th games for an 8-5 win.
“I think as a team, we’re a lot stronger than they were in terms of our ground strokes and serves,” Zoricic said. “We just took advantage of that, and I think they were a little bit nervous [about being ranked so high], which worked in our favor too.”
In singles, the College struggled to find its form, with senior Klaudyna Kasztelaniec collecting the Tribe’s only win while dominating no. 46 Samantha Murray 6-1, 6-2.
“Before the match, [Kasztelaniec] knew she was going to outlast her opponent,” Geiger-Walton said. “She knew she was just going to keep making her play and frustrate her by staying in points. And she did just that.”
Next, the Tribe will host the University of Richmond Saturday at 9 a.m.