Section: Sports

Women’s tennis swings into season with 9-0 win

Kenyon women’s tennis, ranked No. 30 nationally in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)  Division III and No. 8 in the region, had a shutout win this past Saturday against Kalamazoo College on the Lords’ home court. The Ladies crushed their competition with a 9-0 win to extend their unbeaten streak to two.

Erika Oku ’21 and Diana Aboubakare ’18 started off strong with a 8-1 win over Kalamazoo’s  No. 1 doubles team. The No. 2 doubles match captured another 8-3 win with Maggie Sweeney ’19 and Grace Winslow ’18. Ilana Blackwood ’21 and Ceylan Can ’21 continued the trend with an 8-1 win in the No. 3 doubles match. 

“We knew that after beating University of Northwestern Ohio last weekend, we are capable of anything,” Oku said. . “We played like there was nothing to lose, which helped us carve out matches quickly.”

Singles play continued with Kenyon dominance as Oku captured the No. 1 match 6-0, 6-0. Sweeney followed suit with more commanding play in the No. 2 match 6-0, 6-0.

“The key to winning was not losing my intensity from start to finish,” Oku said. “The second set is usually harder to stay energetic on the court but I kept on moving my feet and going for every ball.”

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranked the doubles team of Oku and teammate Aboubakare as 11th before their season began.

Winslow came away with another win while losing only one game in the No. 4 singles match with a score of 6-0, 6-1.

Annie Reiner ’19 followed suit with a 6-1, 6-0 win in the No. 6 singles match.

The Ladies’ first years continued to shine as Kayla Pukys ’21 and Blackwood each only lost two games in their singles matches, coming away with wins of 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-0 respectively.

“The fact that we swept the Kalamazoo team shows that we can do the same with the other upcoming teams as long as we keep our focus and high intensity,”  Oku said.

Kenyon will face off against DePauw University next Sunday in Greencastle, Ind. The past two seasons have featured nailbiting matches between the two teams, with Kenyon pulling out narrow victories over the Tigers in each.

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