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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Women’s tennis team finishes 6th at UAA Championships

Published: April 23, 2010
Section: Sports

Thanks to a hard-fought win against the Case Western Reserve University Spartans last Saturday, the Judges were able to finish sixth in the University Athletic Association with a 1-2 conference record.

“A sixth place finish overall is solid, but a little below our goals,” head coach Ben Lamanna told The Hoot in an e-mail. “The top five teams are nationally ranked, so it’s really competitive.”

Brandeis opened up the 2010 UAA Championships in Cleveland last Friday with a 5-0 loss to the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans, the 10th ranked team in the country. The Judges were the sixth seed going into the tournament while Carnegie Mellon was third in the conference.

The matches were played inside due to inclement weather and as a result were played to decision instead of completion. The closest match of the day was first doubles where Rachel Rosman ’11 and Faith Broderick ’13 fell to their opponents just 8-5.

The Judges bounced back the following day to face the seventh seeded host Case Western in the consolation semifinals. Brandeis started things off well, going 2-1 in doubles to take the lead.

“The match against Case was definitely a test of who wanted it more,” co-captain Emily Weisberger ’10 told The Hoot in an e-mail. “I think the girls showed a lot of fight and a lot of heart when it came down to big points, which led us to a victory against them.”

Those first wins did not come easily, though. In first doubles Rosman and Broderick had to go to a tiebreaker, eventually taking the match 9-8. Third doubles had the same suspense, with co-captain Ariana Sanai ’10 and Nina Levine ’12 taking the tiebreaker to pull out a 9-8 win.

Rosman moved onto first singles where with a 6-0, 6-2 victory she became the team’s only double winner of the match. Mackenzie Gallegos ’11 had a two set win of her own, taking the number four singles 6-3, 6-1 to put Brandeis up 4-1.

The Spartans would not go quietly. They took second and third singles in three sets to get within one of tying things up. Sarah Richman ’12 closed things out in the sixth singles, defeating her Case Western opponent 6-3, 6-4 to secure a 5-3 win for the Judges.

“Sarah Richman, clinched another huge win at six singles for us, proving how much of an asset she is to our team,” Sanai said in an e-mail to The Hoot.

“We had a gutsy win against Case Western Reserve,” Lamanna said. “Each match was pressure packed and our ladies played great to get the win.”

The Judges moved on to the fifth place match that afternoon but were unable to keep their momentum going. They fell to the 14th ranked Washington University of St. Louis Bears 6-1. Rosman and Broderick finished out the tournament with a 2-1 record after an 8-5 win over the Bears in first singles, but that would be the only point Brandeis could claim in the match.

“I think on the whole the weekend went well,” Sanai told The Hoot. “Unfortunately we did not improve our seeding, which is disappointing but pulling out that tight win against Case was great because it allowed us to play to our sixth position in the seeding.”

“We play in the hardest conference, and every year all the teams continue to get better,” Weisberger explained. “UAA weekend is always our opportunity to step up and play our best tennis, and I think we showed that this weekend.”

The women have one dual match left to when they host Trinity College at 11 a.m. Saturday. This will be the final match of their college career for Sanai and Weisberger. The Hoot would like to congratulate them on their careers here at Brandeis and wish them the best of luck in the future.

“[The team is] a great group of girls and I wish I could have more years of tennis here at Brandeis to spend with them,” Sanai said. “I will miss them greatly!”