May 19, 2014

Season Review: Historic campaign for women's tennis

Signature Wins: The Fords rolled past visiting Gettysburg College, 9-0, on the final day of the regular season (April 26) to clinch the third seed in the Centennial Conference tournament -- the highest regular-season season finish in program history. Haverford continued its standout season in the conference semifinals as the visiting Fords took down second-seeded Franklin & Marshall College, 5-3, to advance to the Centennial final for the first time. Freshman Jessica Liu finished off the historic victory with a 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 6-2 victory at No. 6 singles. The semifinal win by the Fords avenged a 5-4 loss to the Diplomats on April 5.

Season Notes: Haverford, which went 7-3 in the Centennial and 12-5 overall, registered its fourth straight double-digit win season and qualified for the conference tournament for the sixth consecutive year … The Fords rose as high as 10th in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Atlantic South Region before finishing the season ranked 25th … Senior Alex Ferrara tallied a team-high 14 singles victories. Ferrara, who ranks in fifth place on the program's all-time career wins list (58), reached double figures in singles win each year of her career.  Playing in the No. 2 spot, Ferrara won 12 straight singles matches from the middle of March to the beginning of May and went a perfect 10-0 in conference play. Ferrara was named the conference co-player of the week on April 23 … Robyn Himelstein (13), Kate Donches (11) and Caitlin Gallagher (10) also reached double figures in single victories … Himelstein was named the conference player of the week on March 31 … Donches, playing at No. 4, went 9-1 in conference action with eight straight-set victories … Ferrara, Gallagher and Himelstein each earned first-team all-conference singles honors … Gallagher ended the season ranked 14th regionally among singles players … Earning second-team all-conference recognition, Himelstein and Donches paced the Fords in double wins with 12. Playing at No. 2, the duo especially sparkled in conference action with an 8-1 record … Ferrara and Freshmen Abby Payson and Jessica Liu combined to go 7-9 at No. 3 doubles while gaining valuable experience … Haverford registered a 6-1 record at home … Interim head coach Christopher Booth guided the Fords during preseason and led the Fords to a 7-3 record over the first 10 matches of the season before head coach Ann Koger returned on April 7.

Awards:  

  • All-Centennial Conference: Alex Ferrara (first team singles), Caitlin Gallagher (first team singles), Robyn Himelstein (first team singles, second team doubles), Kate Donches (second team doubles)
  • Centennial Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kate Donches
  • Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll: Kate Donches, Alex Ferrara, Caitlin Gallagher, Robyn Himelstein
  • Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team: Alex Ferrara
  • Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team: Caitlin Gallagher

Looking Ahead: All-conference selections Caitlin Gallagher and Robyn Himelstein head a group of talented returnees for coach Ann Koger as the Fords look to build off of their historic success in 2013-14.