SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – The Mount Holyoke College tennis team had a strong performance on Tuesday, defeating Wheaton College, 6-3 in the conference home-opener. The home-standing Lyons have now beat Wheaton for the sixth consecutive time. With the victory, MHC improves to 5-7 overall and 2-0 in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action, while the visiting Lyons fall to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The match opened up with a solid, 8-0 win from the MHC doubles duo of Catherine Peabody (San Francisco, Calif./Lick-Wilmerding HS) and Anya Gerasimova (Salem, Ore./West Salem) over sophomore Harley Swainston (Hudsonville, Mich./Hudsonville) and first year Allison Burton (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) at second doubles. This marked the second win in a row for the duo.
Wheaton's sophomore Isabelle Garvanne (Los Angeles, Calif./Chadwick) and junior Ines de Bracamonte (Sunny Isles, Beach, Fla./Pine Crest) evened the score at the top of the doubles lineup with an 8-2 win over sophomore Ching-Ching Huang (Lukank, Township, Taiwan/Taipei Muncipal First Girls) and senior Ishita Tibrewal (Kilkata, India/Modern High School for Girls). In a strong effort at third doubles, juniors Madison Rosen (Portland, Ore./Grant) and Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep) gave MHC a 2-1 heading into singles play after an 8-5 triumph over junior Connor O'Keefe (Lutz, Fla./George M. Steinbrenner) and first year Jordyn Paul (Belchertown, Mass./Belchertown).
Mount Holyoke did not look back as Gerasimova and junior Clara Wang (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) took down both Burton and junior Oliva Donovan (Exeter, N.H./Exeter), 6-1, 6-0 at the four and six, respectively. Sealing the match was Peabody, who cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 victory over O'Keefe to give MHC a deciding 5-1 advantage. With momentum in hand, action at the fifth spot in the lineup saw Rosen open up her game with a tough 7-6 (7-3) set tie-breaker win. Rosen then eased her way to a 6-1 win in the second set giving MHC a 6-1 lead.
Wheaton did not go down without a fight as Garvanne had a tough, 6-2, 6-4 victory over Tibrewal from second singles. At the top of the lineup, Wheaton's De Bracamonte won a marathon of a match against Huang after winning in a first set tie-breaker, and ultimately winning a match tie breaker by a score of 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 1-0 to end the contest with a score of 6-3 in favor of Mount Holyoke.
Both teams will be back in conference action on Saturday with MHC squaring off at Babson at 11:00am, while Wheaton hosts Springfield at 10:30am.