Undefeated women’s tennis is 6–0 for spring season

Last weekend, the men’s and women’s tennis teams continued their successful spring seasons.

On Saturday, the women were perfect in chalking up two 9–0 victories over Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin College, improving their record for the year to 7–2 (including a perfect 6–0 spring). Also Saturday, the men defeated Case 8–1, moving their record to 7–2 (including 4–1 this spring).

“The more we win, the more our confidence grows,” said head coach Andy Girard. “We don’t stress winning and losing so much as just going out and doing your best. When you focus on what you can control, like giving your best effort, there really is no pressure.”

In the six matches this spring, the women’s team has won by a margin of 51–3. The doubles teams are unbeaten, and numerous singles players are on winning streaks, including senior Amy Staloch, sophomore Alisa Liebowitz, and first-years Brooke Loar and Ashley Herrick.

“The women definitely have a lot of positive momentum,” Girard said. “Most of it has to do with a lot of hard work and positive attitude. Also, the team is extremely close knit. When everyone genuinely cares about each other, you have an amazing team situation.”

In the men’s 8–1 victory over Case, sophomore James Muliawan crushed Case player Mike Peterson 6–0, 6–0. In one of the closer matches, first-year Alex Nemerov and sophomore Nikola Ljuboja kept their cool, prevailing 9–7 in doubles.

In their five matches of the spring, the men have compiled a match-wins record of 35–10. There are no blemishes on Nemerov’s record, who is 5–0 in singles. Sophomore Jon Spero is 4–1 in singles, as is senior Andrew Clearfield. Muliawan, sophomore Ragi Raghavan, and first-year Bobby MacTaggart are all 4–1 in doubles.

“I think we are right on the edge of having a really good season,” Clearfield said. “We lost to Kenyon pretty badly, but I think our team is better than that. I think we’ll have some good wins. Getting over the hump is probably going to take a bunch of consistent wins against top-15 teams. If we start beating those teams consistently this year, we’ll be where we want to.”
Over spring break, the tennis teams will travel to California — but not for vacation.

“We are looking forward to spring break. Both teams are going to be tested by a daunting schedule,” Girard said, “but we are ready for the challenge. This trip is essential because it gives us an opportunity to play other teams that we are going to be fighting against for NCAA bids.”

In the space of a single week, the teams will each play five opponents. Among the teams gunning for the Tartan men are 10th-ranked Bowdoin College and 17th-ranked University of Redlands.

The fifth-ranked women will face an intimidating list of teams: Pomona College (ranked eighth), Claremont Mudd-Scripps (12th), Redlands (13th), University of the South (24th), and Bowdoin (26th).