The women’s team had an exciting weekend playing in the Blue-Grey Invitational with matches on Friday, March 16, Saturday, March 17, and Sunday, March 18. On Friday, No. 17 nationally ranked Case Western Reserve won 7-2, stopping the Bobcat’s five-match win streak. On Saturday, the Bobcats played No. 40 nationally ranked Swarthmore, earning a 5-4 victory. Finally, on Sunday, they unfortunately fell 7-2 to No. 14 nationally ranked Washington and Lee. All matches were held at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
“All the girls were excited about the Virginia matches. We had a long weekend, and everyone felt prepared, minus a couple of lingering injuries affecting some members in the starting lineup,” says Maisie Silverman ’18. “Our main goal throughout all our matches was to fight for each other and compete for each other, no matter what team we were playing.”
On Friday, Case Western Reserve swept through the doubles matches with no wins for the Bobcats. In the singles matches, Silverman and first-year Hannah Sweeney ’21 won their matches, earning Bates their only two points for the day. With the Bobcats not off to a good start to the weekend, Silverman knew that the team needed a little inspiration.
“Although we had positive energy during our Friday match, we wanted to improve the energy level and the idea of having “heart from the start” for our Saturday match against Swarthmore,” says Silverman. “Mostly, we wanted our mental game to be engaged from the start of doubles to the very last point in singles. After visualizing with the team and having a goal of how we wanted to be on the court, the doubles team all set out determined to compete from the start of the match—we swept doubles 3-0.”
On Saturday, Bates seized control by winning all three doubles matches. Partners Silverman and Bella Stone ’19 won 8-7 in the No. 1 position. Partners Sweeney and Lauren Hernandez ’20 defeated Swarthmore’s Shirline Wee and Julia Gokhberg 8-5. Finally, partners Suzanne Elfman ’20 and Haley Washington ’21 won 8-6 in the third position.
In the singles play, the Bobcats were able to get the two points they needed with Silverman defeating Wee 6-4 and 6-3 in the No. 1 position and Sweeney winning in the No. 2 position. However, Suzanne Elfman ’20 fell short to Swarthmore’s Scheibmeir 6-3, 2-6, and 6-1, and Hannah Londoner ’19 lost to Ashley Gao 6-1 and 7-5. Sweeney won both her doubles and singles match against Swarthmore.
“I felt as though this weekend was a positive experience for the entire team. We fought hard throughout the three days of matches and played well collectively,” says Sweeney. “I think as a team, we successfully persevered through any adversity or obstacles we may have come across.”
On Sunday, Bates gave Washington and Lee a good fight. Bates’ top doubles team of Silverman and Stone easily defeated Michelle Fleenor and Lauren Hassell 8-6, which raised their record for the season to 5-2. Unfortunately, Washington and Lee took the second and third doubles victories.
Bates held up for three of the six singles matches which included Sweeney’s win against Emily Kochard 6-4 and 7-5, Washington’s tight loss of 6-4, 6-4, and Hernandez’s fall in a tiebreaker with a final score of 6-2, 1-6, and 10-8.
For Sweeney, her win against Washington and Lee’s Emily Kochard marks her eighth straight win for singles match, which also raises her record to 9-1.
“We never gave up, even until the last point on the third day of matches. Going into our next matches, I think we are going to take what we learned this weekend and use it to become mentally stronger and tougher opponents,” says Sweeney. “We have a lot we did well this weekend, and we are going to take that confidence into our next match and use it to play to the best of our ability.”
Overall, the Bobcats had great competition during the weekend and will bring the same energy, attitude, team dynamic, and mental state for their next match against their rival, Tufts, on March 30.
“We played some really great competition and had some very close matches,” says Elfman. “It was a great weekend, and the ’Cats showed a lot of heart out there.”