Following a trip to the Midwest to play nationally ranked teams Oregon and Kansas, William and Mary returned home Sunday to host Georgetown and Richmond in two separate matches. The Tribe (7-5) dispatched the Hoyas easily, 6-1, then did the same to the Spiders just a few hours later in another 6-1 win.
The Tribe started off well against the Hoyas, taking the doubles point. Georgetown won the No. 2 doubles match 6-0, but senior Ekaterina Stepanova and junior Clara Tanielian picked up a win at the No. 1 spot before sophomore Charlotte Madson and freshman Vitoria Okuyama clinched the point for the Tribe, beating the Hoyas at the No. 3 slot.
“We have really been spending a lot of time on our doubles play, and we showed some improvement today,” head coach Tyler Thomson said. “We played some more aggressive style of play, which we really needed to do.”
Singles went just as smoothly, as the Tribe wrapped up three straight singles wins to clinch the match. Junior Lauren Goodman kicked it off, beating her opponent 6-1, 6-1 at the No. 4 spot.
“Lauren Goodman played amazingly well today,” Thomson said. “She just cut through her opponents really quickly. She played really clean tennis, really aggressive, but minimal errors.”
Next, sophomore Rosie Cheng, the No. 86 singles player in the country, took care of business, winning 6-1, 6-2 in the top singles match. Just moments later, Tanielian won her match 6-1, 6-3 at the No. 2 slot, guaranteeing the 6-1 Tribe victory.
Only hours after its first match of the day, the Tribe welcomed Richmond to the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. The College picked up right where it left off, taking control of the match right from the start.
The Tribe won the doubles point again, with Goodman and sophomore Natalia Perry picking up a win at the No. 2 spot and senior Olivia Thaler along with Stepanova winning at the No. 3 spot. The duo of Cheng and senior Cecily Wuenscher dropped its set in the top spot after the College had snagged the point.
“We’ve been trying to mix around the pairings and implement a new game style by being more aggressive and attacking first,” Perry said. “We did really well with that today. … Getting out in front is almost like a safety net when you go out there, so it’s a nice feeling that we haven’t really felt that much this season. Hopefully, we’ll keep it up.”
Just like against Georgetown, the Tribe claimed the win over the Spiders quickly. Goodman won in straight sets at the No. 5 spot, 6-1, 6-3, before Perry finished off a dominating performance and straight-set victory of her own at the No. 2 slot.
“I tried to focus just on myself, my side of the court and what I could control, which is my racket and my feet,” Perry said. “I tried not to worry so much about what was going on on the other side.”
A few minutes after Perry’s solid victory, Stepanova finished off her own, besting Gabby Rosales 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 4 spot to finish off the team win.
The Spiders stole a single point at the bottom spot, but Cheng won her matchup at the top position, 7-6, 6-2, completing the 6-1 win for the Tribe.
“Rosie was very businesslike today,” Thomson said. “She was pretty relentless with her focus and her intensity.”
After a pair of tough losses to highly ranked opponents last weekend, Sunday’s performance helped the Tribe regain some confidence.
“Throughout the season, we’ve been learning what to do, what not to do, kind of just feeling it out,” Perry said. “Now, I feel like we’re more steady, we know what’s going on, we know what to do.”
The Tribe will try to continue its hot streak next weekend, as the team hosts George Washington Saturday and Kansas State Sunday. Both matches will take place at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.