WALTHAM, Mass. – Facing a pair of nationally-ranked opponents, the Brandeis University women's tennis team dropped a pair of road matches at Amherst and Skidmore. The 21st-ranked Judges fell to the No. 8 Mammoths, 8-1, and the No. 17 Thoroughbreds, 6-3.
Against Amherst on Friday, the Judges' lone point came at No. 2 doubles, where rookie Lauren Bertsch (Middletown, R.I./LaSalle Academy) and junior Olivia Leavitt (Falmouth, Maine/Falmouth) earned an 8-6 win. Brandeis nearly took the 2-1 lead into singles, as sophomore Sabrina Ross Neergaard (Port Orchard, Wash./Laurel Springs Prep) and junior Keren Khromchenko (Manalapan, N.J./Academy of Allied Health and Sciences) dropped a narrow 9-7 loss at No. 1. Amherst swept singles without losing a set, and the Mammoths never lost more than two games in any set.
Against Skidmore on Saturday, doubles were able to give Brandeis an edge, as Bertsch and Leavitt prevailed, 8-5, and rookie Rachel Zubrinsky (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) and senior Haley Cohen (Cherry Hill, N.J./Laurel Springs Prep) won by the same score at No. 3. The hosts bounced back in singles action, winning five of six matches to clinch the victory. Leavitt provided the Judges' lone win at No. 3, 7-5, 6-2. Cohen lost a tight two sets at No. 2, 7-6, 7-5, while junior Michele Lehat (Great Neck, N.Y./John L. Miller Great Neck North) won the first set at No. 5 but couldn't hang on in a 6-2, 1-6, 1-6 defeat.
The Judges return home next weekend for their final two matches, on Saturday against Bates College and Sunday against Wheaton (Mass.).