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The Scarlet & Black

Women’s Tennis Qualifies for the NCAA D-III National Tournament


The women’s tennis team capped off their stellar season by defeating Lake Forest College and advancing to the NCAA Division III National Tournament on Thursday, April 26. This accomplishment follows a 19-4 overall record and an undefeated 9-0 record in conference play.

According to Coach Paige Madara, the group strove to establish themselves as one of the more effective teams in the conference and region from the very beginning of the season.
“Early on with our team matches, we really set the tone that we were a competitive team that would challenge the best teams in our region and have worked hard to challenge regionally and nationally ranked teams in our matches,” she wrote in an email to The S&B.

Madara attributes the team’s yearlong success to a combination of fresh talent coming in from the first year class and strong leadership skills from the fourth years. Anushka Joshi ’18 echoed her coach’s comments, saying that “we got really lucky with a really strong freshman class. They’re playing one, two, and three in the lineup.” Additionally, the program retained many of its core players from the year before, ensuring that the culture and goals of the team remained steady throughout the transition into the new season.

However, Joshi also attests that this year’s strong performances stem from Madara’s diligent efforts to put together the strongest group possible and mold the team culture in a positive manner.
“[Our success] is the result of our coach trying to make the program more intense,” Joshi said. “Maybe in a couple of year[s] we’ll be even more successful because that’s the direction she’s trying to take the program. In previous years, a lot of players were kind of like, ‘Oh, tennis is the casual extracurricular I do.’ But she’s trying to make it so that it’s your second priority right after academics.”

As far as their aspirations for the National Tournament, Joshi claims that the team is simply looking to enjoy the experience with one another. While they hope to advance to the next round, their sense of accomplishment comes from performing competitively in conference play and against other regional teams.

“Our main goal of the whole year was to make it,” Joshi said. “I think just the fact that we’re going is the big deal.”

Madara expressed similar sentiments, addressing the excitement and pride that comes with taking a national stage. “The NCAA Tournament is a special experience that the NCAA puts on for our student-athletes,” she wrote. “From official signage, on-court officials, and line-up announcers, it’s a special place for our athletes to compete against the best in the country.”
The NCAA Tournament will take place during the coming week.

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