March 25, 2009

Courtesy of Williams Athletics

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. - The Williams women's tennis team won the 2008 NCAA title so they are well aware that they will be circled on every opponent's schedule as the season unfolds. Being ranked number one as the spring season begins might bring an extra circle to the opponent's schedule.

Second year Eph head coach Alison Swain has a strong and tested lineup returning, only needing to find two players to complete doubles tandems. Swain's Ephs rolled to a 4-0 record in the fall and that was without two key players who were not available – last year's number two singles player and part of the #2 doubles team, junior Grace Baljon returns from studying abroad and sophomore Lucy Marchese who played #3 singles and doubles, is returning to form after recovering from injury.

Also returning from the 2008 NCAA championship team are seniors Cary Gibson and Annie Hancock, junior Ashley Parsons, and sophomore Nikki Reich

The fall campaign offered Swain a chance to get a good look at some of her first year candidates and to try various doubles configurations, which should pay dividends down the road.

"I expect that the rankings will continue to shift and sort themselves out in the coming weeks," said Swain. "Several of the top teams have started playing and the results thus far have demonstrated the tremendous depth of DIII tennis right now.  It is going to be a real battle for the top spots this year.  We had a very successful fall off of a banner year last year, which has kept us at #1, but we still have yet to start our competitive spring schedule. I have no doubt that we will be tested over spring break, but the team is looking forward to competing and being pushed.  We are also hoping for some Georgia sunshine!"

Women’s Division III Top 25               
Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings:
Rank, school --- LW (2/24)
1. Williams --- 1
2. Washington and Lee --- 2
3. Carnegie Mellon --- 8
4. Chicago --- 15
5. Denison --- 3
6. Amherst --- 4
7. Emory --- 5
8. Mary Washington --- 6
9. Pomona-Pitzer --- 7
10. Wellesley --- 9
11. Tufts --- 10
12. Bowdoin --- 11
13. Middlebury --- 13
14. Redlands --- 14
15. Washington U --- 16
16. DePauw --- 12
17. Trinity (TX) --- 17
18. Gustavus Adolphus --- 18
19. Coe --- 19
20. Univ. of the South --- 20
21. Johns Hopkins --- 21
22. College of New Jersey --- 27
23. Vassar --- 22
24. UW-Whitewater --- 23
25. Skidmore --- 24