Monica Snyder '08
Photo by Charlie Quigg '09
Junior Monica Snyder picked up the deciding victory to send Amherst into the national championship match

Amherst Returns to National Championship Match with 5-0 Win Over Sewanee

By Alex Kantor

May 16, 2007

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The Amherst College women’s tennis team faced Sewanee (University of the South) this afternoon in the day’s first national semifinal match. Amherst took a convincing 5-0 result to advance to tomorrow’s National Championship match.

After an amazing come-from-behind win in the National Quarterfinals over Gustavus-Adolphus yesterday, The Lord Jeffs needed only to sneak by the Tigers to reach the NCAA title match.

After putting themselves in a 3-0 hole during doubles play against G.A.C. yesterday, Amherst came out firing in double competition today, taking early 5-2 leads in all three matches.

Amherst grabbed its first team point of the day in the second doubles match-up when senior co-captain Katie Hudson (Los Altos, CA) paired with first-year Jill Wexler (Beverly, MA) to take an 8-4 result over the second Tigers team. The Jeffs moved to a 2-0 lead when junior Alicia Menezes (Staten Island, NY) and first-year Brittany Berckes (Secaucus, NJ) held off a late charge in their match against Laura Fanjoy and Molly Willett for an 8-6 win.

Juniors Laura Stein (Rockport, ME) and Jen Murphy (Simsbury, CT) gave Amherst a 3-0 team lead when they defeated Lauren Willett and Mary Katherine Stone 8-6 to complete the doubles sweep.Amherst turned the tables from yesterday’s slow start, and took a 3-0 advantage into the singles competitions. The Jeffs were a mere two wins away from the National Championship.

Menezes squared off with Gabriela Cavalho in the feature court in a big time match-up. Menezes, the three-time ITA/Wilson New England doubles champion took a convincing 6-2 first set win over Cavalho, the 2006 ITA Small College doubles champion and singles runner-up.

Amherst grabbed first-set wins at number two from Berckes (6-4), at number three from Snyder (7-5), at number four from Murphy (6-4), and at number five from Hudson (6-3) in a race to see who would finish their match first and send Amherst into the finals.

While the Jeffs appeared to be cruising after a quintet of easy first-set wins, the Tigers would not go easily. Cavalho battled hard in on court one, breaking Menezes to take a 4-1 advantage in the second set. Menezes returned the favor with a pair of wins to get back to 4-3, but Cavalho eventually took the second set.

Berckes gave Amherst a 4-0 edge with a 6-4, 6-2 straight set win and would take to the sidelines to cheer for one more victory. Amherst was able to take the pressure of Jen Murphy on this day, as Snyder put away Lauren Willett with a break of service to take a solid 6-2 win. The victory gave Amherst the necessary fifth point, and the USTA umpires cleared the courts.

The Lord Jeffs advance to tomorrow’s National Championship match to face Washington & Lee University at 1 p.m., following a 9 a.m. consolation match.

Doubles
1. Brittany Berckes/Alicia Menezes (A) def. Gabriela Carvalho/Jordan Casey (S) 8-5
2. Katie Hudson/Jill Wexler (A) def. Laura Fanjoy/Molly Willett (S) 8-4
3. Jennifer Murphy/Laura Stein (A) def. Lauren Willett/Mary Katherine Stone (S) 8-6

Singles
1. Alicia Menezes (A) vs. Gabriela Carvalho (S) 6-2, 3-6, 0-1 (DNF)
2. Brittany Berckes (A) def. Laura Fanjoy (S) 6-4, 6-2
3. Monica Snyder (A) def. Lauren Willett (S) 7-5, 6-2
4. Jennifer Murphy (A) vs. Molly Willett (S) 6-4, 3-2 (DNF)
5. Katie Hudson (A) vs. Mary Katherine Stone (S) 6-3, 1-2 (DNF)
6. Laura Stein (A) vs. Jordan Casey (S) 1-6, 4-3 (DNF)

Final Score: 5-0

Advancing Team: Amherst College