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Wednesday, Sep 28, 2022

Women’s Tennis Victorious Over Maine Rivals

<span class="photocreditinline"><a href="">MICHAEL BORENSTEIN</a></span><br />Ann Martin Skelly ’21 prepares to receive a serve.
Ann Martin Skelly ’21 prepares to receive a serve.

The No. 3 Middlebury women’s tennis team took a road trip north this past weekend, beating long-time rival No. 6 Bowdoin (8-2), before finishing off Bates 8-1 that same afternoon. With these wins under their belt, the Panthers move to 7-0 in the league and 13-1 overall.

On Saturday morning against Bowdoin, Middlebury came out firing, sweeping all three points during doubles play. The No. 2 junior duo of Katherine Hughes and Skylar Schossberger posted an 8-4 win against Izzy Essi and Tasha Christ, while the No. 3 tandem of Christina Puccinelli ’19 and Maddi Stow ’20 eased past Sarah Shadowens and Fleming Landau 8-3. In the top flight, Heather Boehm ’20 and Ann Martin Skelly ’21 triumphed 8-7(2) over Julia Mark and Devon Wolfe, saving three match points along the way. Additional doubles points have gone a long way for the Panthers this season, as they have historically carried most of their strength in singles.

“It’s so fun to see us improving at doubles because traditionally we have been a very strong singles team with okay doubles, but now our plays are really taking off and you can see us having fun on the court,” Boehm said. “There is no better feeling than beating a top team on their home courts.”

The doubles sweep set the Panthers up well for singles play. At the top of the lineup, Boehm won for the 12th-straight time by 6-1, 6-0 scores against Marks. Puccinelli posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory against Wolfe at No. 3. Singles, while Hughes clinched a 6-4,6-0 win over over Christ at the second spot. Schossberger defeated Essi 7-5,6-4 at No. 4, before Stowe secured the team’s victory after a marathon of a match. At the No. 5 spot, she triumphed over Sasa Jovanovic (5-7, 6-0, 10-7) to give the Panthers the final 8-1 score. 

“Beyond the score, we were really happy with how we competed and the positive energy that we were able to bring to every single court,” Puccinelli said. “We played with sportsmanship and class, and we all felt that we represented Middlebury in the best light.”

After easing past Bowdoin, the Panthers traveled further north to Bates, where the Bobcats proved to be no match for the Panthers. Once again, Middlebury took all three double points, as Stowe and Norah Dahl ’21 posted an 8-4 victory at No. 3 over Isabelle Rovinski and Suzanne Elfman, while Hughes and Schossberger cruised to an 8-3 win against Bella Stone and Anna Rozin in the top flight. In the second spot, Skelly and Catherine Blazye ’20 secured an 8-6 victory over Hannah Sweeney and Lauren Hernandez.

In singles action, Stow gave the Panthers a 4-0 lead after she cruised past Elfman 6-0,6-1 at No. 4, before Puccinelli blanked Stone in the second spot to give the team their fifth point and solidify their overall victory. Hughes triumphed over Sweeney 4-6,6-2,10-3 at the top of the lineup, before Ruhi Kamdar ’21 rounded out the scoring with a 6-4, 5-7, 1-4 win at the No. 6 spot.

The Panthers will return to the courts this Saturday when they host No.7 Amherst at 1:00 p.m.