The women’s tennis team wrapped up its regular season slate with a 6-3 loss to Wesleyan on Sunday. Bates finishes its season with a 7-11 record and a 3-6 mark in NESCAC play. The Bobcats are currently ranked 28th in the country, but will likely fall a few places in the rankings after losing to the unranked Cardinals.
The team dropped a 9-0 decision to Amherst and a 6-3 match against Brandeis before halting a four match losing streak against Wellesley in early April.
“I think we had a lot of really tough matches but we definitely persevered and never gave up, even when we were losing,” said sophomore Maddie Stein.
The Bobcats scored a 5-4 upset over then 26th ranked Wellesley. Winning doubles matches for Bates was senior Jacqui Holmes and junior Lucy Brennan at number two and senior Nicole Russell and junior Kristen Doerer number three doubles. Russell and Doerer had a particularly close match, triumphing 9-8 in what turned out to be a decisive point in the match.
In singles, Bates was led by sophomore Elena Mandzhukova at number one, who grinded out a three set victory, 6-0, 5-7, 6-1. Senior Ashley Brunk also captured a three set match 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4). Russell notched another three set victory at number five singles with a 5-7,6-2,6-1 score.
After a 9-0 setback against Trinity, the team got back on the winning track against Colby. Bates swept the doubles matches en route to an 8-1 victory. Mandzhukova, Holmes, Brunk, and Russell all won in straight sets at singles. Doerer grinded out a three set victory at number six singles with a 3-6, 7-6(4), 11-9 marathon match.
Bates then dropped another match to Amherst 8-1 before sweeping Connecticut College 9-0. Holmes secured the lone win against Amherst. All of the singles matches were sweep wins against Connecticut College except for Brunk and sophomore Audrey Grauer who both prevailed in three set matches.
The Bobcats kept up their winning ways against Hamilton. All three doubles matches were easily decided in Bates’ favor as the women rolled to an 8-1 win. Five of the six singles matches were victories for Bates and all of them were 2-0 sweeps.
“We all have worked really hard in out-of-season training and put in the time throughout the winter to help make us successful,” said Stein.
However, the team has been struggling recently with three straight losses to close out the season. Bates fell 9-0 to eighth ranked Bowdoin, although Holmes put up a fight in her number two singles match, falling in three sets 7-6(5), 5-7, 10-8.
“Jacqui Holmes had some amazing matches against some of the top players in the NESCAC, beating the number two Amherst and Wesleyan players,” Stein said. “She had a really great season.”
Holmes then continued her strong individual play in an 8-1 loss to Tufts. The senior captain won in three sets 0-6, 7-6, 10-8. The rest of the team struggled, however, as the team captured only nine other games throughout the other five singles matches.
Bates was then unable to avoid the upset against Wesleyan, as Holmes was again the only winner in singles play with a 6-2, 7-6(4) win. The Bobcats did manage to capture two out of the three doubles matches, as Mandzhukova and Brunk won 8-3 at first doubles whiles Holmes and senior Jenna Burke triumphed 8-2 at third doubles.
The loss to Wesleyan cost Bates a spot in the NESCAC Championship and ended the Bobcats season.
“We all worked really hard, but more wins would be better,” Stein said. “We can be more competitive with all of the NESCAC schools and make the NESCAC Championships next year.”