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February 13th, 2010

Vassar Opens With Win

Natalie Santiago was a winner in doubles and singles against Fordham.
Poughkeepsie - The Vassar College women’s tennis team began its spring season impressively with an 8-1 victory over Division I Fordham University inside Walker Field House on Saturday afternoon. The Brewers started quickly, sweeping the doubles and never looked back, losing just seven games in doubles competition.

Now 4-1 on the season, the Brewers will return to action next Sunday, February 28 with a home match against Muhlenberg College at Walker Field House at Noon. 

In the all important doubles competition, the Brewers won decisively behind attacking, aggressive tennis. Joy Backer helped the Vassar pair take control of the match by dominating play at the
net with her quickness and relentless poaching. Both Nicole Pontee and Backer served and returned extremely well, setting each other up at the net for finishing volleys. 

At the second doubles, Nicole Block and Jennifer Beckerman hit crisp and accurate returns throughout the match breaking the Fordham pair twice to take a 4-1 lead that they never relinquished. Block displayed great hands at the net and both players controlled each of their service games with authority. In their first match as a doubles pair, the number three team of freshman Natalie Santiago and junior Alyssa Roush served extremely well, enabling their partner to end points quickly at the net with consistent volleys.

In singles play, Vassar dominated in four of the six matches early in the first sets and pressured the Fordham players with penetrating serves, ground strokes and effective shot combinations. With smart play, Beckerman, Santiago, Ruther and Roush all won first sets by 6-0 or 6-1 margins and closed out their matches with decisive second sets. 

Backer fought back from a deficit in the first set but lost 6-4. She continued to keep momentum in the second set with penetrating ground strokes winning the set, 6-2. The third set was a battle with Fordham’s Bethany Boyle clinching the final set 7-5. 

At the number one singles spot, the first set was long, aggressively played contest with both players holding serve consistently to force a tie-break at 6-6. The tie-break was close throughout with each player fighting off two sets points. Vassar’s Pontee won the tie-break 11-9, hitting a forehand winner off a short ball. She carried that momentum into the second set, serving well and punishing returns and any short ball, winning the final set in a convincing manner, 6-1.

"We played authoritative tennis in this first spring match,” said head coach Kathy Campbell. "It was great to see our players attacking with confidence, moving well and playing with poise. The team is excited to keep building on this type of play. We're off to a great start."

Vassar 8, Fordham 1 


1. Nicole Pontee/Joy Backer (VC) def. Martina Featherston/Sarah Tremaine (FU), 8-3
2. Jennifer Beckerman/Nicole Block (VC) def. Bethany Boyle/Taylor Holt (FU), 8-2
3. Natalie Santiago/Alyssa Roush (VC) def. Jenny Mullen/Brittany Russell (FU), 8-2

1. Pontee (VC) def. Tremaine (FU), 7-6 (11-9), 6-1
2. Beckerman (VC) def. Featherston (FU), 6-1, 6-1
3. Boyle (FU) def. Backer (VC), 6-4 2-6, 7-5
4. Santiago (VC) def. Holt (FU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Ruther (VC) def. Mullen (FU), 6-0, 6-1
6. Roush (VC) def. Russell (FU), 6-0, 6-2
4 / 5 (1 Votes)

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