Tennis stars set Emerson standard

by Connor Burton / Beacon Staff • September 12, 2013

Doubles partners Savannah Mosser and Lacey Russell accept an award.
Doubles partners Savannah Mosser and Lacey Russell accept an award.

As a doubles tennis pairing, Savannah Mosser and Lacey Russell have racked up 37 wins and only 2 losses, but Emerson’s standout seniors have also provided a pair of singles stalwarts for the Lions.

“We compliment each other’s games really well,” said the 5-foot-8 Russell, who won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Player of the Year Award in 2011, her sophomore season. “The reason we have stayed together through everything is because we really love the team and we have so much fun.”

Mosser and Russell’s doubles record is staggering, but their individual accomplishments are equally as imposing.

A senior visual and media arts major from Malibu, Calif., Mosser was named the GNAC Player of the Year in 2010, and has a 32-2  record during singles play over her first three seasons at Emerson.

The 5-foot-10 Mosser went an undefeated 12-0 in 2012, finishing out the season having won 20 consecutive singles matches, a run that dated back to September 2011.

Russell is a senior marketing communication major from Roswell, Ga., and has a 28-5 overall record. She has been named to the GNAC First-Team Singles and Doubles each of the past two seasons. 

“Savannah always finishes her matches so quickly because she is so precise and never gets frustrated, and Lacey is really competitive and always keeps calm,” said junior teammate Jana Winfield. “They make sure we stay tight as a team even though we play as individuals.” 

Mosser’s near two-year win streak came to an end in the team’s first ever New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference match, a 9-0 loss to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Sept. 7. MIT, the defending NEWMAC regular season and tournament champions, was unanimously picked to finish first again this year in the conference preseason coaches’ poll. The Lions were predicted to finish sixth out of nine teams.

Although Mosser and Russell have had successful careers on the whole, they both agreed there are certain memories that stand out to them. 

“Last year, we had a really close match to go to the [GNAC] finals. It came down to one match and we are all cheering on our teammate and she won and then we all ran out and celebrated,” Mosser said. “We also made it to the finals our sophomore year without a coach, which was pretty incredible.” 

Now the duo is looking to the future and preparing for a new level of competition in the NEWMAC. 

“It’s going to be a challenge to adjust to a new conference,” Mosser said. “We had some easy matches [in the past] and some were difficult, but I think this year is going to be really difficult.”

Russell said the skill level of GNAC competitors was inconsistent, but said she expects her slate of opponents in the NEWMAC to be completely different.

“We always have to be fully focused and put everything into it,” Russell said. “Before, we didn’t have to worry. Now, we really have to step it up.”

Regardless of how they play this next season, Mosser and Russell, who are close friends off the court, said they will never forget their time together.

“We always used to sing, eat and laugh together in the vans on the way to practice,” Russell said. “Our relationship really grew in the last few years. We really complete each other well.”