The no. 21 nationally ranked Brandeis women’s tennis team traveled to Maine this past weekend to compete at the Wallach Women’s Doubles Invitational at Bates College. The Judges opened their season with an impressive cumulative record of 20-8.
Top performers, senior Olivia Leavitt ’19 and sophomore Lauren Bertsch ’21, started off day one of the tournament strong, defeating Trinity 8-4 in the quarterfinals and moving on to beat Colby 8-2 in the third place match of the ‘A Draw.’ Later, in the ‘C Draw’ action, Isabel Cepeda ’21 and rookie Ana Hatfield ’22 blew past Bates 8-3 in the quarterfinals, beat Trinity 8-6 in the semi-finals and finally took the title with a win over Colby in the finals with a final score of 8-5.
The Judges returned to the second day of action ready to compete again. Leavitt and Bertsch returned to beat Bates 8-5 in round one, Bowdoin 8-5 in the second round, followed by a 8-6 win over Bates again in what was their last match of the day. The Judges threw several change-ups in partners throughout day two. The strong match-up of senior Sophia He ’19 and Hatfield started with a win versus Trinity in round one and ended with a loss after defeating Wheaton 8-4 in round three. Lastly, other doubles pairs included Rachel Zubrinsky ’21 who joined Cepeda, and Karen Khromchenko ’19 and Michele Lehat, both pairs finished 1-1 for the last day of action.
Coach Ben Lamanna was impressed with the team’s performance last weekend. Not only did they improve from last year, but they are continuing to get better as well. Specifically, Leavitt and Bertsch are working extremely well together. “LB is fearless out there and Olivia reads the game so well, they make for a real tough team,” Lamanna explained. His excitement for the remainder of the season is joined by that of Leavitt, who is also happy with the team’s progress, mindset and dedication thus far.
The tournament highlighted players from Bates, Bowdoin, Babson, Brandeis, Colby, Trinity, and Wheaton, who all played in different doubles combinations in anticipation of the upcoming season.
The women’s tennis team looks to send their top three singles players and top two doubles teams to play this upcoming weekend at Williams College for the ITA New England Regionals.