April 20, 2010

Courtesy of Amherst Athletics

AMHERST, Mass. - The top-ranked Amherst College women’s tennis team rebounded from its first Division III loss of the season by earning a 6-3 win over 17th-ranked Tufts University Tuesday afternoon. The Lord Jeffs used a dominant performance in doubles play to improve to 12-1 (5-1 NESCAC), while the Jumbos dropped to 11-5 overall and 5-2 in the conference.

Highlighting the afternoon was the top doubles match between Amherst’s Brittany Berckes ’10 (Secaucus, NJ) and Laura Danzig ’12 (Allendale, NY), and Tufts’ Julia Browne ’11 and Meghan McCooey ’10. The Jumbo duo—ranked #1 in the Northeast—defeated the Lord Jeff pair in this past fall’s ITA New England Region Championship doubles tournament, but Amherst got its revenge with a convincing 8-2 victory.

Berckes and Danzig—ranked #3 in the Northeast by the ITA—played arguably their best match of the year. Browne and McCooey had been 3-0 all-time against Amherst as a pair, but the Lord Jeffs stormed out of the gate to win the first three games and never looked back, looking crisp throughout the match.

Cruising to an 8-0 win in the No. 3 doubles match were Caroline Richman ’13 (Pacific Palisades, CA) and Carlissa King ’11 (Bayside, NY), who did not surrender a single game to Lauren Hollender ’13 and Erica Miller ’10. Wrapping up the clean sweep in doubles play were Natasha Brown ’11 (Woodland Hills, CA) and Jill Wexler ’10 (Beverly, MA), who rattled off six straight games after dropping the first to Lindsay Katz ’13 and Janice Lam ’13, ultimately pulling out the 8-3 win.

Browne demonstrated why she is the ITA’s top-ranked singles player in the Northeast by earning a 6-0, 6-2 win over Berckes in the No. 1 match, improving to 3-1 all-time against the Amherst star. Browne is now 15-1 in singles play this year, with her lone loss coming against a Division II opponent.

Danzig handed momentum back to the home team by breezing past McCooey at No. 2, as she had arguably the most impressive day for Amherst. The Lord Jeff sophomore dropped her first game but won the next nine en route to a 6-1, 6-3 win.

Wexler sealed the deal for Amherst in the No. 4 match, earning a 6-1, 6-2 win over Edwina Stewart ’11 for her team’s fifth point of the afternoon. The next two matches to finish would go the Jumbos’ way, with Jennifer LaCara ’12 defeating Amherst’s Laken King ’11 (Bayside, NY) at No. 6, and Lam taking care of Brown at No. 5. LaCara’s victory was particularly impressive, as she failed to win a game in her first set but came back to take the next two, 6-1 and 6-4.

Rounding out the afternoon’s matches was the battle between Katz and Carlissa King at No. 3. Katz won the first set of the marathon, 6-4, but the next two went to King by scores of 7-5 and 6-4. Amherst increased its winning streak over Tufts to 22 matches, dating back to the 1991-92 season.  

The Jeffs and Jumbos will each return to action Saturday, Apr. 24, with Amherst hosting Wesleyan University at noon and Tufts traveling to take on Middlebury at 2 p.m.