Franny Shea ’23, Sports Writer
Davidson women’s tennis concluded their regular season with an impressive 11-7 record last Sunday, April 10. That afternoon, the Wildcats lost a close 3-4 match overall to the Fordham Rams, a fellow Atlantic 10 foe, to end their regular season campaign. Despite the close loss to Fordham on Sunday, the women’s tennis team has enjoyed an impressive regular season filled with winning streaks and gritty upsets.
As a collective, the women’s tennis team started to find their form when they beat Appalachian State 4-2 in Boone, North Carolina, on February 12. Beating the Mountaineers on their home courts was a considerable feat for the Wildcats, considering the Mountaineers wicked fast courts and rowdy fans. The ‘Cats gained confidence from this spirited win and went on to win seven consecutive matches. After beating Appalachian State, the ‘Cats enjoyed three undefeated weekends, most notably beating Richmond and Elon. Both Elon and Richmond have defeated Davidson handily the past few seasons, so the wins in the 2022 season were a sign of improvement and new freshman talent for the ‘Cats. The 4-3 victory against Richmond felt especially sweet for the ‘Cats, given that Richmond beat Davidson in the Atlantic 10 tournament in 2021.
The ‘Cat’s aggressive doubles play, and deep singles lineup have made the Wildcats a hard team to beat throughout the season. Coaches Susanne Depka and Kelly Larkin emphasize the importance of playing fearlessly on the doubles court. This tactic has proven successful as the ‘Cats have won 14 out of 18 doubles points this season. The success on the doubles court is followed by six singles players who have all individually been consistent with getting a win for the Wildcats. For most of the year, the singles lineup has consisted of upperclassmen students and freshman standout Kavya Patel ‘25. Patel has won an impressive, twelve singles matches and has lost only two. The Georgia native’s consistent style and mental toughness have been crucial for the ‘Cats success this spring season. The combination of the courageous team effort in doubles play, and the stingy singles play throughout the lineup has proven successful in the regular season.
The ‘Cats now have their sights set on the Atlantic 10 conference tournament in Orlando, Florida, from April 27 through April 31. The next few weeks for the ‘Cats will be filled with focused practices, lifts, and conditioning to ensure they will be ready to compete at their best come Wednesday, April 27. After the two-week match break, the ‘Cats will look to take confidence from their successful regular season and hone in on their team motto: “focus on the controllable.” If the ‘Cats continue with their outstanding doubles play and tenacity in singles play, the women’s tennis team will be in the conversation for the Atlantic 10 conference title.