The Colgate women’s tennis team entered the Patriot League tournament on Thursday, April 19, in West Point, New York. With a 1-5 conference record, they faced the Holy Cross Crusaders, who the Raiders swept 7-0 during a regular-season matchup.
The match turned out to be a success for the Raiders, who claimed a 4-0 victory. This was the team’s first postseason victory since 2013. Senior Kelly Klein contributed to the victory with her win in the No. 4 singles round (6-2 and 6-1). Additionally, first-year Mackenzie Deeter (No. 1) and sophomore Jordan Williams (No. 2) both won their respective singles matches. Deeter and Williams went on to collect another win on the day, emerging victorious from the No. 1 doubles match with a score of 6-1.
“It was the first time we’ve won the first round match since I have been on the team, so that was really exciting and memorable. Holy Cross definitely came to play since the last time we played them, so it ended up being a great match,” Klein said.
Hoping to ride Thursday’s wave of victory, the Raiders took on the first-seeded Navy Midshipmen on Friday morning. Although the Raiders did not prevail, they did not go down without a fight according to Deeter.
“On Friday morning we faced top seeded Navy in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Just two weeks ago we played Navy and struggled to win games against such a talented team. [Playing] Navy [this time] was a completely different story. Many of us had set points and a lot of the matches could’ve gone in our favor. Our performance in the Patriot League tournament shows how far we’ve come as a team this season,” Deeter said.
“The last time we played Navy, we didn’t do as well as we would have hoped and kind of let them beat us. This time, though, we put out a massive effort and it almost paid off. They won four matches before the rest of us could finish, but we were all in really close sets. If we didn’t play to clinch, it easily could have been 4-3 or 3-4,” Klein said.
Though placed in the eighth seed for the tournament, the Raiders never relented against the top-seeded Midshipmen. Although Klein was alone in claiming a singles win (6-3, 1-6, 0-1) in the No. 1 round, some of her other teammates narrowly skirted victories.
Deeter forced her No. 1 singles match to extra rounds, although she was ultimately defeated (6-7, 0-1 DNF). Sophomore Lauren O’Brien followed suit in the No. 3 round, with a close 5-7 first round, though ultimately ceding the victory to her Navy opponent.
O’Brien was able to still come out of the day 1-1, due to her successful doubles match alongside senior Stephanie Fuentes (3-5 DNF). However, both Deeter/Williams and Klein/Brown lost their matches 6-2. The loss brought the women’s season to an end, and they finished the season with a final overall record of 7-14. Despite their egress from the tournament, Klein is hopeful for the future of the program as she prepares for graduation.
“We have had a really tough schedule this year, definitely my hardest since I’ve been on the team. In some ways, that was difficult, but it also made us all much better players. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out, and I know the team is going to do so well next season” she said.
Contact Isabel Van Wie at [email protected]