W. tennis takes third at ECAC championships

By
Friday, February 20, 2009

The women’s tennis team (5-2) placed third in the ECAC Indoor Championship this weekend. The team blew by Cornell in the first round on Friday, 7-0, then lost to Princeton by the same score before beating Dartmouth in the consolation match.

In the Cornell match, Bianca Aboubakare ’11, Cassandra Herzberg ’12, Sara Mansur ’09, Tanja Vucetic ’10, Julie Flanzer ’12 and Catherine Stewart ’12 all won their singles matches in straight sets. The Bears also took the doubles point to make it a clean sweep.

But things quickly reversed, as the Bears dropped their semifinal match against Princeton by an identical 7-0 score. The second doubles tandem of Mansur and Herzberg recorded the only win for Brown, 8-6 – but the doubles point went the Tigers’ way.

Aboubakare said the loss to Princeton didn’t affect the players’ mindsets going into Sunday’s match.

“We were really disappointed after Saturday’s game, but we knew there was still another match to play,” she said. “I guess we really made it a point to leave the match against Princeton behind us and to focus on our next match against Dartmouth.”

“We had a tough loss against Princeton, but most of the matches were really close,” Mansur wrote in an e-mail to The Herald, “and I think it was productive for us to see their playing style, especially because now we know what is to come.”

“We changed our attitudes,” Aboubakare said, “and you could tell on each court that we were all determined to fight hard to reach our goal.”

On Sunday, the final day of the tournament, Brown beat Dartmouth, 4-3. The team recorded one doubles win by Emily Ellis ’10 and Kathrin Sorokko ’10, 8-4, and four singles wins by Aboubakare (6-1, 7-5), Herzberg (6-2, 4-6, 6-2), Vucetic (6-2, 6-2) and Flanzer (6-1, 6-3) to secure third place.

“The team was confident going into Sunday’s match, even though we lost to Dartmouth last year,” Mansur wrote in her e-mail. “Dartmouth and Princeton have polar-opposite playing styles. Princeton is aggressive and Dartmouth is much more focused on consistency. What really helped us on Sunday was the team’s tenacity and the willingness to keep fighting.”

“Our freshman did a great job of playing under pressure in singles,” Aboubakare said. “It’s a great indication of what’s to come in the next two months.”

This Saturday, the Bears will host Seton Hall at 9 a.m. and Quinnipiac at noon.