May 27, 2010

Courtesy of Amherst Athletics

FREDERICKSBURG, VA - The top-ranked Amherst College women's tennis team was able to close out the 2009-10 season with a win this morning in the Consolation Match of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Lord Jeffs edged the University of Chicago 5-2 to improve to 21-3 on the year and finish in third place nationally.

Amherst's quest for the program's second national championship came to a close yesterday with a 5-4 loss to Emory in the national semifinals, while Chicago was denied a spot in this afternoon's title match by defending champion Williams College. Amherst and Chicago last played one another in the 2009 National Semifinals, with the Lord Jeffs taking home a 5-4 win.

In doubles play today, Berckes and sophomore Laura Danzig (Allendale, NY) suffered an 8-3 setback at number one. The Lord Jeffs responded on court two, with Wexler and Natasha Brown (Woodland Hills, CA) cruising to an 8-2 win over Jennifer Kung and Linden Li. At number three, Amherst's Carlissa King (Bayside, NY) and Caroline Richman (Pacific Palisades, CA) broke serve late in the match to take the final two games for an 8-6 win over Aswini Krishnan and Carmen Vaca Guzman.

Amherst's Laken King (Bayside, NY) won the first set in her singles match 6-1 at number six, while Wexler fell to Linden Li 6-3 at number four. Moments later, Vaca Guzman took the first set 6-2 over Carlissa King at number three, while Danzig pulled out a 7-5 first-set win at number two. Berckes dropped the opening frame to Kendra Higgins at number one 6-4, but Brown won her first set 6-1 at number five. With each school winning three of the six first sets, Amherst could close out the win by taking the same number of second sets.

Laken King continued her dominant performance, cruising past Tiffany Nguyen 6-0 in the second set to put the Lord Jeffs up 3-1. The Maroons closed the gap to 3-2 as Higgins completed her straight set win over Berckes 6-4, 6-4 at number one. With Danzig late in her second set and Carlissa King and Wexler already in third sets, Brown completed her win over Chrissy Hu with a 6-4 win in the second set to stretch the lead back to 4-2.

Danzig was able to put a halt to the remaining two matches midway through the third sets as she rallied for a 7-5, 7-5 win over Kung to clinch the decision in Amherst's favor. Carlissa King led her bout 2-0 in the third set, while Wexler trailed 3-0 in her decisive third frame.

Today's match marks the final time that Amherst will see senior Jill Wexler (Beverly, MA) play in the lineup. Alongside classmate Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NY), Wexler has been a mainstay in the ladder for the Lord Jeffs over the past five seasons. While Berckes will begin play in the national singles and doubles tournaments tomorrow, Wexler's road ends here. During their four seasons at Amherst, the Jeffs have posted an amazing 76-11 overall record, won an unprecedented four straight NESCAC Championships, and played in a pair of National Championship matches. Also graduating last weekend for Amherst were seniors Jennifer Ouyang (Pasadena, CA) and Christina Martinez (Coral Gables, FL), while Anuja Ankola (Scarsdale, NY) graduated in December.