Ladies tennis maintained their undefeated streak with two wins at home over both Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) and State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo. The Ladies beat the Battling Bishops last Friday by a score of 8-1 and beat SUNY-Geneseo by a score of 9-0. This was the ninth and tenth time this year that the Ladies have beaten a team by a score of at least 8-1.
The Ladies dominated the doubles sets as Ceylan Can ’21 and Ilana Blackwood ’21 blanked OWU 8-0 at the No. 3 doubles match. Diana Aboubakare ’18 and Erika Oku ’21 teamed up as the No. 1 double team and followed the lead of Can and Blackwood by beating their opponents 8-0 as well. The Ladies swept the doubles matchups, and rode this momentum into the singles matches.
Kenyon was off to a 3-0 lead after the doubles portion. They did not slow down, with junior Annie Reiner leading off the singles matches with a pair of commanding 6-1 scores. However, the first years were back to seal the deal against OWU with Kayla Pukys ’21 and Can winning each of their matches in straight sets to earn the final two points. This was Can’s first appearance in singles play.
The Ladies were prepared for the back-to-back games as they trounced SUNY-Geneseo by a score of 9-0. The Knights stood no chance as they were swept in doubles by the pairings of Aboubakare and Oku, Grace Winslow ’18 and Maggie Sweeney ’19, and Can and Blackwood. Each pairing beat their opponent by a score of 8-0. The singles matches were no different. Oku continued her amazing season by improving to 12-0 after beating her matchup in straight sets. Sophomore Megan Collins also made her first appearance of the year and made the most of it by causing past her opponent 6-0 and 6-2. Following Sweeney’s impressive showing, she was named NCAC player of the week for the second time this season.
After the defeat of an underwhelming SUNY-Geneseo, the Ladies improved to 12-0 on the year and are currently ranked No. 22 in the nation, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) poll released last Thursday.
The Ladies have already put together an incredible year, but they have the chance to make it special with players like four-time NCAC Player of the Week, Aboubakare as well as her 12-0 doubles partner, Oku. Oku, Pukys and Can showed they are more than capable of performing at the collegiate level.
“Honestly, having the opportunity to practice with good competition everyday has helped my game tremendously,” Pukys said. “I believe that it has strengthened our team’s competitiveness as a whole and has played a great part in our success for the season thus far.
The Ladies have a chance to prove that they belong at the top with matches coming up against No. 39-ranked Oberlin Yeowomen on April 14 and the No. 9-ranked Carnegie Mellon Tartans on April 15. However, they also have an important matchup in Madison, Wisconsin for the Midwest Invitational against the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this weekend.
“I think our upcoming matches will be challenging and should be awesome matches that will for sure test our potential,” Aboubakare said.