The 17th ranked women’s tennis team traveled to Chicago this weekend to participate in the ITA Indoor Nationals. With three wins already under their belt, expectations were high surrounding the team heading into the weekend against top competition. After a demoralizing 4–0 defeat to No. 7 NC State on Friday, the Tigers rallied to win their next eight matches, four against Arizona State and another four against No. 6 Pepperdine.
Unquestionably, the moment of the weekend came Sunday morning, when sophomore Brianna Shvets — Princeton’s top singles player and the 34th ranked player in the nation — upset Ashley Lahey in straight sets, each by a score of 6–4. Heading into the match, Lahey was considered the top player in the nation. On the match point, Shvets dished out a high speed serve, then followed with an impressive forehand across the court. When Lahey could not return the volley, Shvets raised her racket high in the air, and ran towards a mob of Tiger players swarming the court to congratulate their player.
Shvets’ performance against Lahey was the highlight of the weekend, but it was not the only impressive victory registered by the women in orange and black. Against Pepperdine, first-years Daria Frayman and Zoe Howard both defeated higher-ranked opponents in straight sets, with senior Clare McKee finishing off the sweep of singles matches for the Tigers against the sixth best school in the nation. Meanwhile, every Tiger achieved a victory in the match against the Sun Devils, beating their third PAC 12 school of the young spring season in the process.
Perhaps more impressive was Princeton’s ability to exert its dominance over Arizona State and Pepperdine despite falling flat to open the weekend. Against the Wolfpack on Friday, the doubles team of McKee and Howard registered the only victory of the day against the white and red; however, the higher ranked matchups were recorded in the scorebooks, leaving this victory largely an afterthought. McKee actually finished undefeated on the weekend, as her only defeat came in a singles match against the Wolfpack that was left unfinished.
Princeton now moves to 5–1 on the weekend, a record that includes three victories over Power 5 schools. With the win over No. 6 Pepperdine, the Tigers will most likely rise in next week’s NCAA Coaches poll.
The Tigers will next head home to the friendly confines of Jadwin Gym to take on Towson and Fairleigh Dickinson. These two matches on Saturday will be the final home matches before the Ivy League season, which begins in March.