HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's tennis team enters the Centennial Conference Tournament as the No. 3 seed after posting an 8-2 record in conference play during the regular season. If previous history is any indication, that is the perfect spot for the Fords as each of their previous two championship match appearances came when Haverford entered the postseason following a third-place finish in the regular season standings.
Looking to avenge one of those regular season conference setbacks, the Fords will travel to second-seeded Swarthmore this Saturday for an 11 a.m. start. Haverford will be looking for a little bit of déjà vu as the Fords were downed by Swarthmore during the regular season in 2018 before turning the tables in a big way during the conference semifinals with a 5-1 victory last spring. That matchup was the first time these two rivals had met in a postseason match. Top-seeded Johns Hopkins and fifth-seeded Gettysburg will play in the other semifinal in Baltimore with that same 11 a.m. start time. The two semifinals winners will play in Sunday's championship match which is also slated for 11 a.m. first serves.
The Fords will be making their third straight appearance in the Centennial Conference Tournament this spring and have qualified for the conference tournament a total of 10 times during the past 11 seasons. Haverford enters this weekend as the No. 13 team in the Atlantic South region while Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore hold down the third and seventh spots in the regional rankings.
Haverford really found its groove in Centennial Conference play as it won 65 percent of those matches in singles and 66.7 percent in doubles. Co-captains Clara Farrehi and Emily Shutman led the way in singles. Farrehi was a team-best 7-2 in her conference singles matches playing at No. 3 while Shutman was 6-3 in CC matches at the top of the lineup. Shutman's victories this spring included a regionally-ranked win over her opponent from Swarthmore the first time these teams met. Shutman is a returning All-Centennial Conference performer from a season ago. Shutman and Farrehi have also filled No. 1 doubles for the Fords throughout the spring, winning five matches to date.
Natalie Williams (No. 2 singles) and Ananya Prakash (No. 5 singles) have filled the second doubles slot in the lineup as each player went 5-4 in their respective singles positions. Prakash and Williams combined for five wins together in doubles. Renato DiDonato has played No. 6 singles for the majority of the spring. She has five victories heading into her final postseason.
Sarah Evenson and Claire Johnson saw the majority of action at No. 3 doubles where that duo holds a 5-1 Centennial Conference record together. One of those victories came against the rival Garnet with an 8-3 win during the regular season meeting. Johnson has also gone 5-3 in conference singles play in the fourth flight. Another option for the Fords this weekend will be Jane Bary as the senior co-captain made her return to the lineup in doubles alongside Anne Tobin at No. 3 on Senior Day against Dickinson. Bary was a first-team All-CC player in singles while earning second-team accolades in doubles a year ago.
Live stats for all Centennial Conference Tournament matches this weekend will be available through the link at the top of this article.