When William and Mary took the court Saturday morning against Big East foe Syracuse, visions of its nail biting 4-3 loss to Brown were still fresh in the minds of many.
At the end of the day, however, the No. 49 College erased all doubt by blowing out the Orange, 6-1. The victory was the Tribe’s fourth in its last five matches, and it moves its record to 11-8 on the season.
“It was obviously a good win, especially a 6-1 win against Syracuse,” head coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said. “It was a good day for [freshman] Hope Johnson, winning her singles match, a good confidence boost for her. We won all three doubles matches, which is another boost of confidence of us. There’s no doubt our
team is getting better and better with each match.”
The College maintained control from the very beginning, claiming all three of the doubles matches, and only dropped one of the six singles matches on the day.
The day began with a highly anticipated clash between two of the country’s best doubles teams, as sophomore Anik Cepeda and Johnson, the No. 40 tandem in the country, faced the Orange’s No. 32 duo of Emily Harman and Maddie Kobelt in the No. 1 slot.
The battle between the two talented tandems was close, but Cepeda and Johnson ultimately prevailed in a tiebreak, claiming a thin 8-7 (5) victory over their Syracuse counterparts.
“Anik and Hope recorded another nationally-ranked win, putting them in good position for the NCAAs,” Geiger-Walton said. “They still need to knock off VCU’s No. 1 team, but they definitely have good wins behind them.”
The Tribe’s other doubles teams, in contrast, dispatched the Orange with relative ease. Junior Katie Kargl and sophomore Marlen Mesgarzadeh defeated Simone Kalhorn and Aleah Marrow, 8-4, at the No. 2 position while senior Lauren Sabacinski and freshman Jeltje Loomans registered an 8-5 triumph over Alessondra Parra and Christina Tan at the No. 3 post, claiming the doubles point.
The College found even less resistance in the singles portion of the match, as all but one of the Tribe’s singles players emerged victorious.
Mesgarzadeh recorded a 6-0, 6-4, straight set victory over Kobelt at the No. 2 post, Loomans defeated Parra 6-3, 7-5, at the No. 3 position and Cepeda clinched the College victory with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Tan.
Cepeda and Mesgarzadeh both won for the sixth time in their last seven matches. Cepeda’s victory was her 21st this season, the most for any player for the Tribe this season.
“Marlen is cruising,” Geiger-Walton said. “[She] and Anik have big winning streaks right now … We are getting better and stronger and we are starting to increase our confidence.”
Although the fate of the match was already set, Johnson still prevailed over Harman, 5-7, 6-4, 10-5 in the
No. 1 position while Sabacinski downed Kalhorn at the No. 5 spot in a hard fought 7-5, 3-6, 10-4.
“I think everyone came away from that match with a boost in confidence, feeling good about their performances and getting more wins under their belt,” Geiger-Walton said.