The women’s tennis team (5-6) picked up its second consecutive home win in Saturday’s match against Stony Brook University (3-6). The Bears defeated the Seawolves by a score of 6-1 in the fourth floor tennis courts of the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Brown opened the matchup by winning all three doubles matches to take the doubles point. After Olivia Mariotti ’24 and Gabriella Dellacono ’23 opened the competition with a 6-0 win, Ali Benedetto ’24 and Lindsey Hofflander ’25 beat their opponents 6-0 to clinch the doubles point. Addison Ahlstrom ’25 and Britany Lau ’23 rounded out the doubles matches with a 6-3 win to complete the sweep.
“We had great energy from the team from the very first point and up until the last,” Mariotti said. “The doubles teams were focused and really put pressure on our opponents, which is always our goal, so we were very happy with our performance and our 1-0 lead after doubles.”
Benedetto slid up to No. 1 in singles to replace Lau, who was resting. Lau has a 7-2 singles record playing at No. 1 this season, which Head Coach Lucie Schmidhauser said was the best record she has seen from a No. 1 player at Brown. Benedetto rose to the challenge, defeating her opponent in straight sets.
“I’ve been working on being more aggressive and trusting my game plan,” Benedetto said. “Although it may have cost me a few points here and there, I think I definitely did a good job of staying focused on what I needed to do.”
Additional singles wins by Sophia Reddy ’22, Ryan Peus ’22, Hofflander and Mariotti gave the Bears five of the six singles points and cemented Brown’s 6-1 win. Schmidhauser said the team’s focus in practice carried over well to the match.
“We've been talking this week a lot about belief in ourselves and the work we're doing on the practice court and belief in your teammates,” Schmidhauser said. “I felt like we were definitely able to put it together” in Saturday’s win.
With less than a month left before Ivy League play begins in early April, the team is working hard to improve. Mariotti said the Bears are “doing more in the gym to increase our strength (and) stability and (doing) everything we can to maximize our performance at Ivies.”
“Our goal is to be peaking during the Ivy season,” Schmidhauser said. “The month of March is more for us to really focus on the areas of opportunity (and) really get into great shape so we're physically and emotionally ready for April.”
Outside of the gym, the group is working to build team spirit and confidence as they prepare for Ivy League play. These efforts are “really important,” Benedetto said, as it is the first full Ivy season for everyone on the team aside from the seniors, after the 2020 season was cut short and the 2021 season was canceled due to the pandemic.
“As a team, we’re really working on having a lot of energy that everyone can feed off of, whether it be cheering off the court or just the vibes you give off while playing a match,” Benedetto said. “We have really good team chemistry, and creating a good atmosphere for each other, especially when we’re away, is super helpful.”
Brown will finish off its home stand this weekend when it hosts the University of Rhode Island (6-3) March 11.
The team opens conference play with a match at Yale (6-6) April 2.