By: Zach Tolman
The host Springfield College women’s tennis team was handed their second loss of the season on Saturday afternoon at the hands of Wheaton College.
Despite the 8-1 loss, freshman Rachel London from Port Jefferson, N.Y. continued to impress, earning herself the No. 1 spot on the day for singles.
London faced off against Wheaton junior Alexandra Marlowe. Marlowe went 18-3 in singles play during the 2012-13 season, and has proven to be a high-level performer with five of those victories being dominant 6-0, 6-0 wins.
London fell victim to Marlowe 6-1, 6-0 but is developing her game against the best of the best.
“Her impact is huge. She hits the ball hard and is consistent. I know she isn’t that big but mechanically it’s all there.” head coach Toby Coffin said.
The No. 2 doubles team, composed of freshmen Rachel London and Stephanie Foster, tallied the only win of the day for the Pride winning in dramatic fashion, 9-8, and forced a tie-breaker that they battled through (7-4). The two up-and-coming first-years displayed seasoned composure and solid net play with a great balance of powerful strokes from London, and accurate lobs from Foster.
“It is scary and a lot of pressure to jump right into a lead role, but the coach and team have been very supportive,” commented London. “I know I can lean on them if I have too. I am very happy with the way I have been playing singles even though I lost. I only missed my shots by a little. I am super thrilled about my first college doubles win with my partner Steph.”
Springfield hits the road Sunday en route for MIT in their second match of the weekend. MIT is coming off of their second win of the season taking care of Wellesley College 6-3, earning them a 2-0 record on the season.
“We have to take care of the short ball. We have to step forward more when the opportunity rises,” Coffin said. “We have played defensive tennis well; we need to start building our skill towards the offensive side of the game too.”