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March 10, 2012

Athenas Kick-off Spring Break with Wins in Doubleheader

The Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps began a Spring break, home stand with an impressive pair of victories on Friday at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center.

In the morning session, CMS hosted the College of St. Benedicts from St. Joseph, Minnesota. The Athenas defeated the visiting Blazers 8-1.

CMS blasted out with a 3-0 sweep in doubles. It was an impressive showing by all three teams, surrendering only four games collectively.

The singles competition was equally impressive. Crystal Lim (6-0, 6-4), Sarah Kukino (6-2, 6-0), and Chloe Dobbert (6-3, 6-0) each recorded a 6-0 set enroute to decisive, individual victories.

Not to be overshadowed by the dominance of her teammates, Brittan Sutphin demonstrated incredible perseverance in a come-from-behind win at number five. After losing the first set (2-6), and facing a 0-3 deficit in the second, Sutphin began reeling off points. She captured the second set 6-4, and poured it on in the third set tiebreaker (10-2) to win the match.

At number six, Sheena Patel nearly staged a similar comeback. Patel lost the first set 3-6, but came within a few points of forcing a third set tiebreaker (6-7).

In the afternoon session, CMS hosted SCIAC conference foe Cal Tech. The Athenas overpowered the Beavers 9-0.

Just as in the earlier match, the doubles teams set an early tone for CMS. The number-two team of Kelly Chen and Patel, as well as the number-three team of Victoria Nichols and Jaclyn Smrecek, played particularly strong in giving up only one game each (8-1 and 8-1).

In singles competition, Smrecek wasted no time dispatching her opponent is straight sets 6-0,6-0. The junior from Irvine is coming off a strong showing at the National Indoor Championships, where she lost only one singles match by a 9-11 third set tiebreaker.

It was déjà vu for Patel at number six, only this time she made all the plays to extend the match. The sophomore from Mason, OH claimed the first set 7-5. Then in an epic third set tiebreaker, Patel overcame her opponent 11-9 to claim the match (7-5, 4-6, 11-9).

Coach Max Retzlaff credited the team’s dedication to strength and conditioning as the source of their stamina for the doubleheader. She also praised the team for maintaining their focus and competitive attitude coming off of the National Indoor Championships.

CMS will host Trinity (TX) on Monday, March 12, in a matchup with future, Regional Championship implications. The team will then close out the rest of March by hosting a number of high profile teams including Amherst (March 18), Middlebury (March 25), and Linfield (March 31).