The Princeton women’s tennis team started off strong in their match against Wake Forest (6-2, 0-0 in-conference) but failed to pull off a victory, falling 5-2 in a hard-fought match this past Sunday and losing their third straight game after a red-hot start to the year.
The Tigers (3-3, 0-0 Ivy) began by clinching the first doubles point, with senior Caroline Joyce and sophomore Nicole Kalhorn overcoming their Wake Forest counterparts 6-4 to put Princeton ahead 1-0. However, the Tigers struggled in their singles matches. Playing at second singles, senior Sivan Krems barely dropped her first set 7-5 before bowing out and evening the score in Wake Forest’s favor with a 6-0 loss in her second set. At first singles, junior Katrine Steffensen dropped two tough sets to her competitor, allowing the Demon Deacons to pull ahead, while freshman Clare McKee and junior Sara Goodwin also fell to give Wake Forest a commanding 4-1 lead. Joyce would once again rise to Princeton’s defense, defeating her opponent at third singles to make the score 4-2, but Wake Forest’s Joanna Zalewski defeated freshman Tiffany Chen in three tough sets to clinch their 5-2 victory.
Although the defeat stings, the Tigers can take comfort in the continued strong play from Joyce, who scored in both singles and doubles play and had a hand in all of Princeton’s points of the match, as well as the pluck and resilience shown by their freshmen. However, some of their greatest challenges still lie ahead: Princeton will next travel to Harvard as the team competes in the ECAC Championship, facing off against Brown, Columbia, and Cornell this coming weekend. For the Tigers, who started their season 3-0 before losing three straight to No. 15-ranked Texas A&M, Rice, and now Wake Forest, this tournament will serve as a benchmark for their continuing season.