After a 3-0 lead in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, Emerson women’s tennis team suffered its first loss at the hands of Simmons College after an intense match.
The Lions started off by winning two out of the three doubles matches. Savannah Mosser and Lacey Russell beat Simmons’ Meghan Cokely and Margaret Teague in a crushing 8-1 victory while Jana Winfield and Alanna Grady beat their opponents in a much closer match of 8-6.
But the team followed its lead by losing a successive three of six singles matches. Mosser managed to pull out a win against opponent Sabrina Salmela, leaving Emerson trailing Simmons by only one match.
Both Winfield and Russell were locked in heated matches against their Simmons opponents. Winfield won her first set with a score of 6-4, but dropped the second 6-3. Russell rallied from losing the first set 4-6 by winning the second 7-6 (5), evening the match at a set all.
With the match still undecided, the deadlock forced both to play a third set instead of a deciding tie-breaker, giving Emerson players the chance to show their support by cheering both players on.
“I know I shouldn’t have been, but I kept thinking about the numbers,” said Winfield, a sophomore film production major, referring to the win she needed for the team.
After Winfield’s final set, she noticed her muscles were cramping and her body was hurting.
“The main thing I was thinking was, ‘Be patient,’” she said.
Winfield lost the third set by a score of 6-1, with Russell cutting a closer call with her final set finishing 6-4.
Emerson lost the match 6-3 overall. It was the team’s first conference loss of the season. The Sharks defeated the Lions in the conference fianls last season by the same score.
While 6-3 was the score that gave them second place last time, Winfield said this time is different. She thinks the team has a chance at taking first this year.
“I hope that this year we win in the finals,” she said. She also said the team is now filled with veteran players, returning five of six starters.
Last season, the team played a majority of its matches without a coach, and Winfield said that Head Coach Gavin Barton has the players more organized and, consequently, they’re greatly improving.
“He tries to make sure we’re having fun…and [the team] is much closer this year,” she said.
The team is now 4-1 in conference matches and 5-2 overall. It will play its next match against Johnson & Wales University on Oct. 3.
Alanna Grady, sports editor of the Beacon and member of the women’s tennis team, did not edit this article.
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