Women’s Tennis Loses in PL Semis to Bucknell

Cameron Thaney

The women’s tennis team closed out its season last week at the Patriot League Championships at Army in West Point, New York. Unfortunately, the Raiders ran into a tough Bucknell team in the semifinals on Saturday, ending the Raiders’ hopes of returning to Hamilton with the championship trophy.

Before the women traveled to West Point, Colgate closed out the regular season with a 5-2 loss to the Binghamton Bearcats on Wednesday, April 16th.

The Bearcats started off strong, as they swept the doubles matches. Binghamton continued to play well in singles, winning the first four singles matches in straight sets. But junior Erin Fenn and first-year Stephanie Bender fought hard and stopped the Bearcats from blanking the Raiders, as they picked up two singles victories for Colgate. At fifth singles, Fenn took the first set from Erica Rosenblum, 6-4. Rosenblum answered back by taking the second set in a tiebreaker forcing a decisive super breaker, where Fenn pulled it out 10-8. At sixth singles, Bender outplayed Gayahtri Balsundar by winning 6-4, 6-1.

As the third seed in the Patriot League Tournament, the Raiders opened up against the sixth-seeded Leopards of Lafayette last Friday, when they waxed the Leopards with a 5-0 victory.

The women had the momentum from the very beginning, as they won all three doubles matches. Sophomores Elise DeRose and Samantha Inacker bested Ansley Scudder and Sarah Sykes, 8-5 at first doubles, while at second doubles, sophomore Cameron Williams and Stephanie Bender cruised to an 8-3 victory. Also, Fenn and first-year Isabel Riemer simply dominated their match against Kristie Cavanagh and Emily DeLuca in their 8-1 conquest.

The Raiders wasted little time in securing their place in the semifinals, as they quickly picked up four singles victories to give them an insurmountable 5-0 lead. Samantha Inacker took care of business at second singles, besting Ansley Scudder 6-2, 6-0. Riemer won 6-0, 6-3 at third singles, and at fifth singles, Erin Fenn defeated Kristie Cavanagh 6-3, 6-1. Bender sealed the victory for Colgate with her 6-2, 6-1 win over Emily DeLuca at sixth singles. The remaining two singles matches were halted when Colgate clinched the win.

Semifinal Saturday saw a rematch of last year’s Patriot League semifinal where Bucknell defeated Colgate in a 4-3 thriller. Regrettably, the Bison played some of their best tennis of year on Saturday, defeating Colgate 4-0.

Bucknell played well right from the start. Tania Varela and Lauren Lucido were unstoppable, as they defeated Elise DeRose and Samantha Inacker 8-1 at first doubles. The Bison clinched the doubles point with a victory at second doubles, where Paulina Gamboa and Carlin Calcaterra bested Cameron Williams and Stephanie Bender, 8-5.

In singles action, the Bison were simply too good. Tania Varela played an awesome match to beat Elise DeRose 6-1, 6-1 at first singles. Lauren Lucido put the Bison ahead 3-0 with her 6-3, 6-3 victory over Isabel Reimer at third singles, and Paulina Gamboa clinched it for Bucknell, as she defeated Samantha Inacker, 6-2, 7-5 at second doubles.

The Raiders finished the season with an 11-9 record and a third-place finish in the Patriot League.

The men’s tennis team, which is ranked fourth in the Patriot League Tournament, will host the event from Friday to Sunday during Spring Party Weekend. They are slated to play fifth-seeded Lafayette at 8:45 a.m. on Friday morning. If Colgate wins, they will play top-seeded Navy on Saturday at 10 a.m.