Section: Sports

Owls win 20th conference championship, defeat Denison

Owls win 20th conference championship, defeat Denison

Women’s tennis will head to Florida to compete in NCAA tournament. | COURTESY OF GRAHAM STOKES

The No. 32 Kenyon women’s tennis team capped off a sensational 18-4 (6-0 NCAC) season with two wins in the championship tournament to secure the NCAC crown against No. 19 Denison University, a rematch of last year’s championship game. 

After earning a bye in the first round as the No. 1 seed, Kenyon began play in the semifinals against the College of Wooster. The Owls made quick work of the Fighting Scots, ultimately earning a 6-0 win. Kenyon got off to a strong start in doubles play. In the No. 1 matchup, Allaire Berl ’26 and Leni Lazaridou ’26 combined for their ninth-consecutive doubles victory, winning 8-1, while in the No. 2 matchup Eleni Dakos ’24 and Shadia Amado Aguad ’26 won their eighth straight doubles match by a score of 8-2. Catriona MacIntosh ’23 and Natalie Connelly ’25 ensured the Kenyon doubles sweep with an 8-4 win in the No. 3 matchup. The Owls only needed to win three more times to book their tickets to the championship game, which they did with ease. In the No. 1 singles matchup, Lazaridou won 6-0, 6-1, while Berl won 6-0, 6-3 in the No. 2 game. Finally, Dakos defeated her Wooster opponent in the No. 4 matchup 6-0, 6-0, voiding the last three matches. 

A day later, the Owls got their revenge on the Big Red, prevailing 5-3 to secure its 20th NCAC tournament championship a year after losing to Denison by the same score. In doubles play, the Owls jumped out to a 2-1 lead. Lazaridou and Berl continued their domination in the No. 1 matchup, winning 8-2. Then in the No. 3 matchup, MacIntosh and Connelly were victorious in a close 8-6 win. In the first four matches of singles play, the Owls and the Big Red traded points. Lazaridou stayed undefeated on the weekend with a 6-2, 6-4 win in the No. 1 singles game, while in the No. 4 matchup, Amado Aguad won a thrilling match 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. 

In an email to the Collegian, Amado Aguad described her emotions during her pivotal singles match. “Starting off [one] set down, the comeback had become even harder. What made the difference in such a tough and stressful situation, since we were competing for the NCAC title, was my positive mentality and the confident attitude I maintained throughout the whole match,” she said. “Knowing the value of every single point that could contribute to the team’s overall win, I knew I was not going to give up.”

With the overall score 4-3, MacIntosh, in her final conference appearance, clinched the Kenyon victory with a 6-1, 6-3 win in the No. 6 game. The last match was left unfinished. 

With their win, the Owls earned an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III National Tournament and will return to Orlando, Florida, starting May 14. Amado Aguad emphasized the team’s excitement for the tournament: “We are all looking forward to the national championship and hoping for the best possible result, with the coaches, sports administration and school supporting our tennis journey.” 


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