courtesy of alvin cheng

Alex Pijanowski, Sports Editor

Ladies tennis had one of its strongest showings in recent memory at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Region Championship, which lasted from Sept. 19 to Sept. 21.

The team reached the finals in three of four brackets, winning two of them. Taylor Diffley ’16 won the consolation singles bracket, and the team of Jenna Murray ’17 and Grace Winslow ’18 won the consolation doubles bracket. Additionally, the pairing of Diffley and Diana Aboubakare ’18 placed second in the championship doubles bracket.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a women’s team make the doubles final since 2002,” Head Coach Scott Thielke said.

Aboubakare said she was pleasantly surprised by her success in her first major college tournament. Most of the nervousness she felt beforehand was mitigated by playing alongside veteran Diffley.

“I was definitely excited to play with her because she’s … our number-one player,” Aboubakare said. “That was really exciting, and I was definitely going into it thinking we would do well.”

Diffley said she was as impressed by the team’s mental approach as by its performance on the courts.

“Everyone, for the most part, [was] fighting throughout their matches and cheering everyone on,” she said.

The team will now embark upon several months of preparation for its spring season. As co-captains, Diffley and Abby Younger ’15 will see to it that the team solidarity and competitive fire on display this weekend are maintained throughout the offseason.

“The team unity and enthusiasm will continue. I’m sure of it,” Younger said. “We’re friends and teammates, and I really feel strongly about that.”


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