THE MATCHUP: Mount Holyoke kicks off its 2011-12 slate with a pair of matches in front of its home crowd on Saturday. After facing off against Smith College at 10:00 a.m., the Lyons will meet up with Tufts University at 2:00 p.m. Smith and Tufts will also go head-to-head at noon. This will be the 50th all-time meeting between Mount Holyoke and Smith. The Lyons swept a pair of matches from their longtime rivals last winter to improve to 30-19. They have topped the Pioneers nine straight times. In 17 previous matches against Tufts, Mount Holyoke has prevailed four times. Last fall, the Lyons handed the Jumbos a 9-0 setback. Match Program
THE LYONS: Mount Holyoke (0-0) begins the season with high expectations, as seven starters return from a team that finished with a CSA ranking of 12th nationally for the second year in a row. The Lyons will once again look to Randima Ranaweera, Shara Robertson and Shaheen Madraswala to lead the way. Last season, all three players finished with rankings in the top 100 nationally. Robertson recorded a dual match record of 18-8, while Madraswala and Ranaweera went 19-5 and 15-11, respectively. Mount Holyoke will enter the 2011-12 campaign ranked 13th in the CSA Preseason Rankings.
THE PIONEERS: Smith (3-1) has rolled to three straight wins after falling 6-3 to Vassar College in its season opener. In addition to their thrilling 5-4 triumph over Wellesley College last Saturday, the Pioneers have also defeated Haverford College 9-0 and 8-1. Jacqueline Zhou has gone undefeated at the top of the lineup to set the tone for Smith. Meanwhile, Szilvia B. Kiss, Catie Blunt, Joanne Poon and Eunice Zhao have recorded three wins apiece.
THE JUMBOS: Tufts (1-0) cruised to a 9-0 victory over Wellesley College in its season opener. From top to bottom, the Jumbos lineup featured Jessica Rubine, Mercedes Barba, Paige Dahlman, Ann Bellinger, Alyse Vinoski, Jennifer LaCara, Risa Meyers, Hafsa Chaudhry and Madison Newbound. They went 9-14 last season.
NEXT UP: Mount Holyoke will return to action tomorrow, when it travels to Williams College for a pair of matches against perennial powers. After facing off against Princeton University at 10:00 a.m., the Lyons will square off against and Cornell University at 2:00 p.m. Smith and Tufts will both be off until the first week of December.