Trinity Women's Tennis 2016-17 Season Recap

Trinity Women's Tennis 2016-17 Season Recap

Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College women's tennis team, coached by Lori Shulman (2nd season), finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 6-9 overall record and 1-6 mark in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). 

The team opened the fall season at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) New England Division III Regional Singles Championships at MIT in late September before a strong showing at the Connecticut College Invitational in the beginning of October. In New London,  Junior captain Emily Curtis (Milton, Mass.) and sophomore Jane Weber (Winchester, Mass.) went 2-0 in doubles play to win their flight. Curtis and Weber were the only Bantam duo to go undefeated over the weekend, however all five of Trinity's doubles teams won at least one match. Trinity first-years Julia Brogan (Falmouth, Maine) and Jillian Winer (Bolton, Mass.) both earned victories at the top of the singles ladder while fellow first-year Federica Cristofanilli (Philadelphia, Pa.) also defeated her opponent in singles play.

The Bantams advanced two pairs into flight semifinals the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament at Smith College to close out the fall semester in mid-October. Winer was a part of a Trinity duo that reached the semifinals of the "B" draw while junior Sara Curtis (Milton, Mass.) and sophomore Katie DiRico (Key Largo, Fla.) won two-straight matches via shutouts before falling in the semifinals of the "D" draw.

Trinity opened up the spring campaign with a 9-0 loss to Wash U during the team's spring trip out west to California to open up the season but bounced back with an 8-1 triumph the next day versus Chapman. The Bantams took an early 2-1 lead after doubles action thanks to a dominant, 8-0 win by junior captain Ania Aliev (Needham, Mass.) and Weber, and an 8-2 victory at No. 1 by junior captain Vanja Babunski (Belgrade, Serbia) and Brogan. Brogan won at the No. 2 spot in singles action by consecutive 6-1 scores, while Weber and first-year Krista Jiranek (Owings Mill, Md.) each dropped just a single set in singles play.

After an 8-1 loss to Bowdoin, the Bantams defeated Whittier, 8-1 in the last match out west, to ignite a season-best four game winning streak, extending into the team's New England portion of the schedule. Trinity knocked off Wheaton, 6-3 in its first home match of the spring before traveling to Division I Holy Cross where the Bantams swept the Crusaders, 7-0.  

The Bantams dropped their next three before coming away with a hard-fought, 5-4, victory over in-state NESCAC foe Connecticut College on April 15 for their first conference win of the year. Against the Camels, Babunski notched a 6-3, 7-5 victory at number one singleswhile Brogan chipped in with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph at second singles and Winer registered a 6-2, 6-2 win at fourth singles. After the victory over Connecticut College, Trinity fell in its final four matches to wrap up the season.

Babunski posted a 9-6 record this spring at the the top of the Trinity singles ladder to improve to 24-11 in her career at singles.  She was also 8-7 in doubles this season in her third season as a singles and doubles starter for the Bantams and was chosen as an alternate for the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Singles Championships in late May in Chattanooga, Tenn. She finished the year ranked No. 33 nationally in singles.

Winer had a solid first-year campaign, earning a team-high 11 wins in singles play and seven in doubles action. Sara Curtis and Brogan each finished the season with six singles wins and Brogan paired with Babunski for a team-high eight doubles wins. Emily Curtis and Weber finished with a 4-1 record as a doubles duo, the best winning percentage on the team.

Aliev was named to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship team as well as the NESCAC All-Academic team following the season. She was joined on the All-Academic team by Babunski, Emily Curtis, Sara Curtis, and junior Sydney Schonefeld (Tiburon, Calif.) thanks to their hard work in the classroom.