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Season Preview: Women's Tennis Returns to Action Saturday after Record-Breaking 2018

Season Preview: Women's Tennis Returns to Action Saturday after Record-Breaking 2018

Preseason interview with the team captains

HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's tennis team attained its first-ever national ranking during the 2018 season as the Fords advanced to the Centennial Conference Championship match for just the second time in school history. Head coach Andrew Cohn will enter his second season at the helm with a pair of All-Centennial Conference performers returning in 2019 as Haverford once again looks poised to be in strong contention for another successful season.

Co-captain Jane Bary was a first-team All-Centennial Conference performer in singles last year as she led in singles victories with a 13-3 record. Bary played primarily at the second spot in the lineup where she was a perfect 10-0 last spring. She has compiled a 24-9 career singles record to date and appears to be one of the top choices to fill the No. 1 singles slot where she holds a 3-1 record throughout her career.

Emily Shutman, another co-captain, was an honorable mention All-CC singles selection last spring after posting a 13-7 record. She played primarily at No. 4 singles, but does have experience at the top of the lineup where she maintained that spot throughout the majority of her rookie season. Now a junior, Shutman has 18 career victories on her singles resume. Together, Bary and Shutman combined for second-team all-conference recognition in doubles during the 2018 season. That duo was 10-7 together last spring, seeing the majority of their action at No. 1 doubles.

Also returning to the starting lineup is Haverford's third co-captain, Clara Farrehi. Farrehi held down the No. 5 spot in the singles lineup last spring. She won nine singles matches, but has also excelled in doubles where she has 26 career wins to her credit. That doubles record includes 13 and 11 win campaigns during her first two seasons. Natalie Williams was paired with Farrehi throughout much of the spring and finished 7-2 in doubles (5-0 CC). Also in the sophomore class with Williams is Ananya Prakash and Sarah Evenson. Prakash went a combined 4-1 in singles and doubles matches last spring, while Evenson has four career victories on her collegiate record.

Looking to potentially break into the lineup this spring will be several other experienced Fords. Renata DiDonato joins Bary as the team's two seniors. DiDonato has four singles victories and two doubles wins to her career record. Junior Izzy Angstman has added two singles wins to the team during each of her first two seasons, while classmate Mima Khazanov won her only match in Haverford's dual lineup at No. 3 doubles last year with DiDonato.

A pair of first-years also join the 2018-19 squad after making an immediate impact during the fall season. Claire Johnson went 3-2 in fall singles and has already earned Centennial Conference Player of the Week honors very early in her career. Anne Tobin paired up with Bary for doubles during the fall where that duo was 4-2 together, including a run to the Round of 32 at the ITA Regional Championships.

Women's tennis has challenged itself throughout the spring season with four matches against nationally-ranked opponents before the start of conference play. The Fords will make their first-ever trip to California during the College's week of Spring Break where Haverford will battle defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

Haverford went 13-3 last spring with an 8-2 record in Centennial Conference matches. The Fords avenged one of those two regular season conference losses by defeating Swarthmore in the Centennial Conference semifinals before falling to Johns Hopkins in the title match. Haverford has made the Centennial Conference Tournament nine times in the past 10 seasons, advancing to at least the CC semifinals during all but one of those postseason trips. Haverford will begin the 2019 season as the eighth-ranked team in the ITA's Atlantic South Region. Fellow Centennial Conference foes Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore start their spring campaigns at No. 6 and No. 9, respectively.

The Fords open the 2019 season in earnest on Saturday, February 23 at home against No. 20 New York University. Haverford begins a more consistent schedule starting over spring break where the team will face three nationally-ranked foes during its week in California. Centennial Conference play opens on Saturday, March 23 at home versus Gettysburg.