Section: Sports

Ladies tennis splits matches

By Alex Pijanowski | Staff Writer

On Saturday, March 29, Kenyon’s women’s tennis team travelled to Meadville, Pa. to compete against Allegheny College, winning the match 7-2. After returning home, they dropped a match to Denison University on Tuesday evening.

The Ladies took control of the top four singles matches in the Allegheny match en route to their 7-2 victory. Taylor Diffley ’16 at No. 1 singles, Jenna Murray ’17 at No. 2, Lauren Hoffman ’16 at No. 3 and Samantha Murphy ’16 at No. 4 all prevailed over their Gator opponents.

Heather Fantry ’16 displayed the depth of the program by winning her No. 6 singles match, and the doubles combinations of Diffley and Murray at No. 1 and Elise Altschuler ’16 and Abigail Younger ’15 at No. 2 rounded out the Kenyon lineup with solid wins.

Against Denison, the Big Red swept Kenyon in the singles category. Madison Hoffman ’16 teamed up with Murphy to deliver Kenyon’s lone win in the match, emerging victorious from a very close 9-8 contest at No. 2 doubles. Diffley fought valiantly against Denison’s Kelsey Geppner at No. 1 singles, fighting through three sets but ultimately losing 6-7, 6-2, 10-5.

For her efforts last week, Diffley was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week. The honor is the first of her collegiate career.

“I’ve been working pretty hard this season, so it’s always great when your hard work pays off,” Diffley said. “It’s also definitely a good feeling in general to win the award. It puts my name out there; it keeps other players guessing.”

Diffley has played consistently well at No. 1 singles this year, leading the team with 12 individual wins, and has also contributed to seven more victories playing doubles.

One aspect at this point in the season, which is by turns satisfying and frustrating, is the abrupt change to warmer weather, and the frequent volatility of conditions. Thielke acknowledged it can be difficult to transition from playing indoors during the winter to playing outdoors in the spring, especially on a cold or rainy day.

“It’s nothing that I can directly help [the team] with, because for tennis players it’s very usual to go from inside to outside,” Thielke said.

The Ladies will spend the remainder of this week preparing for the Great Lakes Colleges Association Championship, to be held in Gambier this Friday and Saturday. One of the teams Kenyon will face is Kalamazoo College, whom the Ladies defeated 5-4 at home in their most recent meeting.

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