The Kenyon women’s tennis team started and completed their North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) schedule over the last week without losing a single match. The Ladies posted three straight 9-0 victories over Oberlin College, Allegheny College and the College of Wooster. They finished with a perfect record in the NCAC regular season for the fourth year in a row and 21st time overall. For the first time in the history of the three-time National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champions, the Ladies went through NCAC play without conceding a single match.
Fresh off their third loss of the season against the No. 9-ranked University of Chicago, the Ladies came out firing. In the Ladies’ first match against Oberlin, No. 2 doubles Erika Oku ’21 and Anna Winslow ’22 secured a 8-2 victory. The other two doubles matches were more contested, with the No. 1 team of Daria Beshentseva ’22 and Ilana Blackwood ’21 winning 8-4, and No. 3 doubles Megan Collins ’20 and Kayla Pukys ’21 completing the sweep with a 8-5 victory. The Ladies went on to sweep the Yeowomen in singles as well.
The following day, in the next match against the Allegheny Gators, the Ladies debuted a modified lineup: Oku, the team’s No. 1 singles player, was left out of the singles lineup. However, the Ladies went on to win every match, losing just seven total games in the singles matches and just one in their doubles matches.
On Wednesday, The College of Wooster traveled to Gambier and fell to the purple and black, 9-0. The largest threat to the Ladies perfect NCAC season came when Oku dropped the first set to Qingyue Li 6-1. Oku became only the second Lady to drop a set in conference play, and the first to trail one set to none. As her teammate dispatched their opponents in straight sets, Oku stormed back with a 6-0 second set to set up a 10-point tiebreak. Winning 10-3, Oku sealed the 9-0 victory and the perfect season.
The Ladies are now ranked No. 12 in the nation with a 15-3 record. They will now look forward to the NCAC Championships beginning on April 26 in Indianapolis, where they will be seeded No. 1 overall.
The Kenyon men’s tennis team continued their remarkable season this past weekend, completing their perfect 3-0 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) season and improving to 14-3 overall with wins over Oberlin College and Allegheny College. The team is currently ranked No. 11 in the nation and have extended their winning streak to five matches.
Saturday against Oberlin, the Lords did not drop a single set, winning 9-0 over an outmatched Yeoman squad. Pascal Lee ’22 and Anatol Doroskevic ’19 opened doubles with the closest match of the afternoon, an 8-4 victory. In singles, the underclassman talent of Lee and Jack Wagner ’22 won in straight sets and dropped just three total games.
The following day, Kenyon made the trip to Meadville, Penn., to face the Allegheny Gators. With an 8-1 win, they clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAC Tournament and won their 79th consecutive NCAC regular season match, a streak that dates back to April 18, 2000. Once again, the singles participants won every set, with No. 20-ranked Jacob Zalenski ’20 winning 6-2, 6-2. He is now 13-1 this spring. Zalenski also partnered with Austin Diehl ’20 in their 8-2 doubles triumph. Kenyon will now prepare for a key matchup this weekend against Carnegie Mellon University, their final regular season match. Coach Scott Thielke is looking forward to seeing how his Lords respond. “The Carnegie team has beaten us 5-4 the past two years,” he said. “I believe we are ranked No. 11 right now and they are No. 15 nationally, so it will be a great match.”