WALTHAM, Mass. – The Brandeis women's tennis team matched its best-ever season win total under head coach Ben Lamanna today as the Judges defeated Skidmore College, 6-3, on the Rieger Tennis Courts. With the win, the Judges improve to 14-3, matching the 2011-12 squad as winningest in Lamanna's 12-year tenure. Only the 1980-81 squad under coach Judy Houde had more dual-match wins in a year.
Brandeis had to rally from a 2-1 doubles deficit, as the Thoroughbreds opened the match with wins at Nos. 2 and 3. Rookie Sabrina Ross Neergaard (Port Orchard, Wash./Laurel Springs Acad.) and sophomore Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) rallied for a late break of serve to win 8-6, getting Brandeis on the board.
In singles action, the Judges dominated, winning five of six matches. Sophomore Michele Lehat (Great Neck, N.Y./John L. Miller Great Neck North) lost just one game at singles all weekend, tying the match at No. 6 with a 6-1, 6-0 victory. Junior captain Haley Cohen (Cherry Hill, N.J./Laurel Springs Acad.) put the hosts ahead with a 6-4, 6-1, win at No. 2.
Sophomore Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J./Allied Academy of Health and Science) rolled to a 6-1, 6-3, win at No. 3 to push Brandeis to the brink of victory. Ross Neergaard had the clinching point at No. 1, 6-4, 6-4. Leavitt won one of the two three-set matches on the afternoon, rallying from a 5-2 deficit in the third to win, 1-6, 6-3, 7-5. Skidmore's only singles point came at No. 5, where Renee Karchere-Sun outlasted Brandeis sophomore Sophia He (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Spackenkill), 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.
The Judges, who dipped one spot to No. 19 in the ITA rankings this week, improved to 3-3 on the season against ranked teams with their win over the No. 20 Thoroughbreds. Brandeis will meet three more ranked squads next week when they travel to Florida for the University Athletic Association tournament, as all eight UAA teams reside in the top 40, including six of the top 20 teams in Division III.