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Amherst College > Athletics > Women's Tennis > 2004-05 Season Preview
   
Tristan Hedrick '05
(left to right) Senior captains Liz Libert, Erin Murphy, Tristan Hedrick and Rachel Holt

Powerhouse Women's Tennis Team Seeks Return Trip to NCAA Final Four

September 9, 2004

2003-04 Season Recap
The Amherst women’s tennis team was outstanding in 2003-04, posting a 17-4 record and reaching the NCAA Championship match for the first time since winning the national title in 1999. The Jeffs went 5-1 in the fall season, finishing No. 11 in the nation. They won their first five matches in dominant fashion before suffering a narrow 5-4 defeat to archrival Williams College, and closed the fall with a second-place finish at the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis (NEWIT) Tournament. Sophomore Kristen Raverta took home the flight-three singles title and teamed with senior captain Wallis Molchen for the flight-three doubles crown.

Amherst opened its spring slate with a spring break trip to Southern California. The Jeffs won three out of four matches on the trip, falling only to Division I opponent Cal. St. Fullerton. Upon returning to New England they won four of their next five matches, including upset victories over third-ranked Tufts University and No. 8 Middlebury College. They carried that momentum into the NESCAC Tournament, where they tied Williams for the conference title. This marked the first NESCAC Women’s Tennis Championship in school history, and the first time anyone but Williams had won a portion of the crown. Raverta led the way, nabbing the “A” Flight singles championship and teaming with Molchen for the “B” Flight doubles title. First-year standout Katie Hudson backed up stellar performances against Tufts and Middlebury with a singles crown as well, winning the “C” Flight. Amherst continued its winning ways, upsetting then No. 8 Williams in match play, 6-3, and closing the regular season with a 9-0 blanking of Wellesley College.

The Jeffs rolled through their first two NCAA Tournament matches, downing Middlebury for the second time and sweeping Trinity University in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals they toppled Williams for the second straight time and earned a chance to face defending national champion Emory University in the NCAA Finals. Unfortunately, Emory repeated as national champions, but Amherst finished the season ranked second in the nation, its highest ranking since winning the national crown in 1999.

Raverta and juniors Tristan Hedrick and Rachel Holt went on to compete in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships, where Hedrick and Raverta each reached the quarterfinals of the singles tournament, and Hedrick and Holt fell in first-round action in doubles.

Key Losses
Captain Wallis Molchen was the lone graduate in 2004, having played in four straight NCAA Tournaments. She earned First-Team All-NESCAC doubles honors in her final season, and was a strong leader on and off the court.

Key Returnees
The Jeffs return a veteran squad, highlighted by Hedrick, Holt and Raverta. Hedrick finished last season as the No. 4 player in the nation and earned both singles and doubles All-America recognition. A four-time All-NESCAC selection, she also teamed with Holt to rank seventh in the country in doubles. Raverta nabbed singles All-America honors for the second straight year and was the sixth-ranked singles player in the nation last spring. She’s a three-time All-NESCAC selection and was named the NESCAC and ITA Northeast Region Rookie of the Year as a first-year in 2003. Holt was named doubles All-America alongside Hedrick and earned All-NESCAC honors for the fourth time in her career, ending the season ranked No. 33 nationally. Junior Hadley Miller played No. 4 singles last season just ahead of sophomore standout Hudson, who played No. 6 singles. Senior Erin Murphy returns as well after pairing with Miller as the Jeffs’ No. 3 doubles tandem last year. Senior Liz Libert, junior Miranda Kim and sophomores Caitlin Rhodes and Michelle Sanders also return to the courts and hope to contribute.