Women’s Tennis: College crushes Delaware, demolished by Rice

Thursday, William and Mary welcomed Delaware to the Millie West Tennis Center for an exciting Colonial Athletic Association matchup. The Tribe (9-10, 3-1 CAA) crushed the Blue Hens (8-6, 1-2 CAA) 6-1.

The College secured the doubles point with victories by junior duo Ekaterina Stepanova and Olivia Thaler, 7-6 (5), at the No. 2 spot and freshman Natalia Perry and junior Cecily Wuenscher, 7-6 (3), at the No. 3 spot.

In singles play, senior Marie Faure defeated Delaware opponent Sara Komer 7-5, 6-1 at the No. 2 spot. Perry shut out Denny LaMachia 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 3 spot. At the No. 4, freshman Rosie Cheng rallied against Annie Jaskulski, winning the match 6-3, 6-4. Sophomore Lauren Goodman’s 6-2, 6-2 win at the No. 5 against Sarah Hall locked in the Tribe’s victory, following Perry and Thaler. Thaler dominated her match 6-1, 6-3 against Blue Hen foe Amanda Studnicki. After a long and hard-fought contest at the No. 1 spot, Stepanova fell 7-6 (5), 6-4 to Delaware rival Brooke Pilkington.

“I think there has been a good amount of consistency with the motivation and the energy,” head coach Tyler Thomson said. “I think we continually are growing, and we have a growth mindset.”

Saturday, the College fell at home 6-1 to Rice (11-5). Cheng earned the Tribe’s only point with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over the Owls’ Fernada Astete. This marked Cheng’s ninth-straight singles victory, improving to 4-1 when playing at the No. 4 and 15-8 overall.

I think there has been a good amount of consistency with the motivation and the energy.”

While the Tribe did not win the doubles point, Stepanova and Thaler stole a 6-2 victory over the No. 79-ranked duo of Allison Ho and Priya Niezgoda. This marked a fifth-straight win for the College pair.

“We’re trying to see positive for the rest of the season,” Stepanova said. “We have a good chance of doing well at the CAA tournament.”

Aside from Cheng, the Tribe could not seize any more points. Goodman and Thaler both fell 6-1, 6-4 in the No. 5 and No. 6 matches, respectively. Faure fell at the No. 2 spot 6-0, 6-4 to Rice opponent Katherine Ip, locking in a victory for the Owls.

Stepanova again fought long and hard at the No. 1 spot but ultimately fell to nationally-ranked Lindsey Hodge 6-3, 2-6, 12-10.

“I have a lot of confidence [in the team] because we all work so well together,” Cheng said.

The Tribe will host Old Dominion Saturday at the Millie West Tennis Center at 2 p.m.


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