campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Women's Tennis Team Wins Commonwealth Coast Conference

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Living up to the expectations as the preseason favorite to win The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC), the Colby-Sawyer College women's tennis team defeated the Endicott College Gulls at the 2009 TCCC championships. Earning their first conference title since 1996, the Colby-Sawyer women's team defeated the defending champion Gulls in a 5-2 match. The team achieved an impressive 16-1 record for the season with the win.

Their hard work and character as a team pushed the women to a victory, explains first-season Tennis Coach Barry Schoonmaker. “We were so lucky to have a team that runs this deep. When our top athletes and seniors were forced to miss matches due to academic schedules, the rest of the team members were able to come through and carry the team to victory,” Schoonmaker explains. “This team has a great sense of character. When they felt that they didn't get the recognition they deserved or fell behind in a match, it only encouraged them to play harder and win.”

Their recent TCCC championship gives the women an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championships to be held in May 2010, where they will compete for the first time in school history. Since the team does not usually have a spring season, Schoonmaker is in the process of finding teams to fill the remaining six match dates to be scheduled in the spring of 2010. On top of playing these matches, the women will prepare for their NCAA tournament debut by training on the courts and in the weight room.

In addition to having a highly competitive season as a team, the women received several individual honors and recognition for their record-breaking season. Earning All-TCCC honors this year were seniors Mary Francis, Jen LaChance and Brittany Mailman, and junior Hannah White. Francis, for the third consecutive year, was named to the All-TCCC Singles First Team, and was also named to the Doubles Second team for the third successive year with teammate Mailman. Lachance joined the ranks of esteemed Colby-Sawyer athletes by becoming the all-time leader for career wins in Colby-Sawyer women's tennis with 89 combined victories in singles and doubles.

Assisting Schoonmaker in guiding the women through the season were first-season Assistant Coach Tarren Bailey and fifth-season Assistant Coach Jen Wood. Schoonmaker, who comes to the Colby-Sawyer tennis program from a career as head coach of the nationally ranked men's and women's tennis programs at Cornell University, put his coaching experience with elite players to work in guiding the already successful Colby-Sawyer women's tennis team to become TCCC champions.

-Jessica K. McLavey '10

Jessica K. McLavey is an English major and an intern in College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience.