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Women’s Tennis Turns It Around!
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Shorewomen tennis team may well have pulled off the greatest single-year turnaround in Washington College sports history. With their 9-0 win (and 24-0 doubles sweep) over McDaniel on April 23, the women finished the regular season with a 9-1 conference record and 14-2 overall. Pretty remarkable for a team that finished last season in reverse mode, with a 1-9 Centennial Conference record.
Part of the team’s success this year is the addition of talented new players, including first-year powerhouses Krista Filiopoulos and Rachel Martinez, who have racked up records of 14-1 and 14-0 respectively in their singles matches this spring. But Head Coach Dave Donn also credits the attitude of returning players who slogged through last year with mental toughness and a strong work ethic.
“I am so very proud of our young women for how they responded to adversity from last year,” he says. “It would have been very easy when we had only four returning players going into last year to simply duck and run, but the women never stopped working and believing that a turnaround like this was possible. They deserve all the credit in the world.”
Another key to the team’s success, says Donn, is how close the team is. “The women all get along great and compete incredibly hard for one another. This is one of the toughest teams I’ve ever coached. They have responded to every challenge we have laid out for them,” he says.
His players epitomize the scholar-athlete who enjoys being part of a close-knit team while also feeling part of the broader campus community, Donn adds. “I would hope if you asked our women why they love being on the tennis team and why it is so important to them, they would say it’s the relationships. They are part of a tennis family, and those relationships will last a lifetime. But a nice part about being an athlete here at Washington College is that they also are part of a fantastic family with the college as a whole. It’s a harmonious relationship. Plus we get wonderful support from the parents, the alumni, and local community members. Such a strong support system makes it that much more special for our players.”
Success on the courts has earned the Shorewomen the second seed for conference tournament play behind a dominant Johns Hopkins squad ranked sixth in the nation. They will host third-seed Franklin & Marshall in the semi-finals at the Schottland Tennis Center this Saturday, May 2, beginning at 1 p.m. (In years when the first seed team ranks first in both men’s and women’s, as is the case this year with Hopkins, the second-seed team hosts one of the semi-final contests.) The F&M Diplomats finished the season 8-2 in conference matches and 12-4 overall.
For more on the Shorewomen tennis team and other Washington College sports, visit www.washingtoncollegesports.com.