The women’stennis team (9—3) was swept by a combined score of 18-0 in its first matches of the spring season against St. Lawrence University and Skidmore University during the weekend.
All three teams rank in the top 20 in the northeast region according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Preseason Rankings. The Bombers, ranked 19th, are coming off their seventh straight Empire 8 Conference Championship, which they won in October. The title guarantees the Blue and Gold a bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Tennis Championships in May regardless of their spring performance.
Ithaca first faced St. Lawrence on Saturday in Canton, N.Y., and saw the Saints win every set.
The Bombers hosted Skidmore the following day in Glazer Arena. The Thoroughbreds came in to the match ranked ninth in the region and 25th in the nation. They also feature the regionally-ranked doubles tandem of junior Nataly Mendoza and sophomore Lee Ford.
While some Bombers were able to win a few games, the team did not manage to win a set against the Thoroughbreds.
Despite these early setbacks, the South Hill squad is loaded with championship experience and all league honorees that will propel the team forward. Junior Allison Young, an Empire 8 First Team selection who garnered First Team honors in both singles and doubles, will lead the team.
Five other Bombers collected seven league honors, reflecting the team’s depth. Head coach Bill Austin won the Empire 8 Head Coach of the Year award for the seventh year in a row.
The team looks forward to its next opportunity to regain some ground from these losses. The Bombers will face Connecticut College and Bloomsburg University during their spring break on March 13 and 14 respectively in Hilton Head, S.C.