2017 Season Review

Signature wins: The Haverford College women's tennis team returned to the postseason for the eighth time in the past nine seasons during the 2017 season. For the seventh time in those eight playoff trips, the Fords advanced to the conference semifinals. However, what was perhaps most impressive was the fashion in which the Fords did so.

Finishing fourth in the regular season standings, Haverford was paired up against fifth-seeded Washington College during the Centennial Conference first round. A rematch of regionally-ranked opponents which went 5-4 in favor of the Fords, Haverford jumped all over the Shorewomen in the second meeting. Haverford had amassed a 5-1 lead when the match reached completion and was out to a commanding lead in one of the other singles matches and locked in tight third sets on the other two courts in what turned out to be the Fords' third regionally-ranked victory of the 2017 season.

Season Notes: Haverford went 10-8 overall and 7-3 in the Centennial Conference … Both the overall and conference records were three win improvements from the previous season under first-year head coach Arik Zeevy … Haverford has now made the conference tournament in eighth of the past nine seasons, including seven trips to at least the conference semifinals during that time … After starting the season unranked, Haverford rose to as high as No. 12 in the Atlantic South Regional rankings and finished the regular season at No. 13 … Jane Bary was named to the Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team and tied with Jessica Liu at nine victories in singles during the spring … Liu won a team-best 12 singles matches overall, including a perfect 8-0 record against conference opponents in the regular season … Clara Farrehi led the team with 13 wins in doubles … Liu and Farrehi were 9-4 together in doubles while Emily Shutman and Bary were 9-3 in doubles during the spring … Abby Payson became the first women's tennis player honored as Haverford's William W. Ambler '45 Award recipient for the highest GPA among senior student-athletes … Payson was one of seven players from Haverford recognized on the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll … Greta Koch has named been named the Centennial Conference Player of the Week twice during her collegiate career after winning the award on March 6 this season and during the 2015 season.

Awards:

Looking ahead: Haverford returns the majority of its lineup and appears to be well positioned to continue its success in the conference and across the region. Losses from graduation will be two-year senior captain Abby Payson '17 who saw time at No. 1 doubles and No. 3 singles while fellow two-year captain Jessica Liu '17 played No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. Emily Shutman and Greta Koch assumed the top two singles positions. Shutman was a part of 11 doubles victories and five singles victories as she played No. 1 singles during the spring. Koch, who was playing No. 2 singles for the third straight season, has a career record of 27-24 in singles and 27 more victories in doubles as she teamed up with Payson for the top pairing. Jane Bary played No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles, she went a combined 21-6 in her sophomore campaign. Rory Lewis contested only singles, but won six matches – including five wins against conference foes during the regular season in addition to clinching the playoff win against WAC. Farrehi will also enter her sophomore season after a standout doubles campaign in 2017.

 

2017 Season Preview

Preseason Captain's Interviews

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's tennis team will be looking for a bounce back year after missing the conference tournament for the first time in eight seasons last spring. The Fords appear primed to do so as they lost just one senior to graduation, have added seven freshmen, and welcome several players back who were in and out of the lineup last spring.

"Our team is bringing a great energy and enthusiasm to the practice courts every day, and I think we're all excited to get out on the match courts and start competing," said first-year head coach Arik Zeevy. "The Centennial Conference looks to be quite strong this year, and our team is looking forward to the challenge ahead of us. We have an energetic, young team and I think we're going to have a lot of fun this spring."

Although that one player who the Fords have to replace is first-team All-Centennial Conference singles player Robyn Himelstein, Haverford has plenty of depth on the team looking to rise to the challenge this year. Greta Koch ranked second on the team only to Himelstein last year with nine singles victories as the primary No. 2 player. An honorable mention All-Centennial Conference singles player as a freshman, Koch also split a pair of matches last spring at No. 1.

Senior captains Abby Payson and Jessica Liu return valuable experience to the lineup. Payson has won 32 singles matches and 27 doubles matches to date in her career. She spent the majority of last season at No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles. Liu went 2-1 last year at No. 5 before missing the rest of the spring season. Despite missing most of last spring, she has won 21 doubles matches and 20 singles matches in her career. Robin Stopa is the third senior on this year's team after seeing varsity action for the first time in her career last spring.

Joining Koch in the junior class are Courtney AhmedJia-Ling Tuan, and Annika Ulrich. Ahmed finished just behind Koch with a career-best eight singles victories last spring playing as high as No. 3 in the lineup. Tuan has won four singles matches in both of her first two seasons with the Fords. She also was a part of five doubles victories last year. Ulrich saw her first action in the varsity lineup last spring where she won two singles matches and one doubles match.

The sophomore class also features four players after Jane Bary transferred to Haverford this year. Bary comes to the Fords from Hamilton College where she won 13 matches. Stephany Prodromos won five matches in both singles and doubles during her first year with the program. Rory Lewis also won four matches in her freshman season as she competed solely in fall tournaments. Renata DiDonato did not see any varsity action last spring, but earned her first collegiate win at the Swarthmore Invitational this fall.

Seven freshmen join forces with the returning players in hopes of a return to the postseason. Emily Shutman was entered in the ITA Regional Championship draw where she picked up one of her two wins in the fall. Ali Morrow advanced to the finals of the Blue 6 singles as she notched four victories in singles during the fall. Freshmen Izzy Angstman and Clara Farrehi were paired for the Blue 3 doubles draw of the ITA Regional where their fall was highlighted by a run to the championship match. Other freshmen who saw just limited action in the fall include Maya Ahmed (sister of Courtney), Sophia Jackson, and Mima Khazanov.