Women’s tennis undefeated in conference

With five matches left in the ODAC, the women’s tennis team maintains momentum while keeping its confidence in check


James Berry, Sports Writer

The women’s tennis team is off to a strong start, with a record of 10-3 overall and 6-0 in the ODAC.

“We had some strong showings on the national level, beating Johns Hopkins twice and we’ve competed well with some of the top teams in the country,” Head Coach Erin Ness said. “I’m happy with where we are right now, and we’re continuing to move forward in a positive direction.”

The Generals started the season with a six-game winning streak with the closest match being a 7-2 victory over Johns Hopkins University. The streak also included the team’s first four ODAC wins.

Captain Michelle Fleenor, ‘18, said the team is encouraged by the wins so far but is always looking ahead.

“The season’s been great so far,” Fleenor said. “Going into our national’s tournament, we had a little bit of a road bump. But they were all good losses, and sometimes you need a little motivation like that to get back into gear. I feel like we’re prepared now for the rest of the season.”

The Generals struggled slightly in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Nationals, with losses to Sewanee and Chicago.

Valerie Marshall, ‘21, said the Generals are prepared to get back on track.

“We’ve had a very good start, especially in the beginning we started off 6-0,” Marshall said. “We had a few tough losses, but I think we’re ready to bounce back.”

Fleenor said the role of team unity was important to the Generals’ early success.

“I think our team cohesion is huge. We’re all really good friends on and off the court,” Fleenor said. “We have a positive attitude and we’re excited about how the season’s going. We come in 100 percent every day.”

Despite the strong record, Ness points out the need to improve in doubles matches.

“We’d like to get more of a lead after doubles going into singles,” Ness said. “Mentally, it’s a lot easier playing with a lead than having to fight back from being down.”

Ness said she also has impressive goals in mind for her team.

“Winning ODACs is our big goal,” Ness said. “Getting past the round of 16 this year and going into the Elite 8 is also an achievable goal for us. We would like to finish in the Top 15 in the country.”

The Generals next play at Carnegie Mellon on March 31.