By Nelson Coffin
While every year is different for the Bryn Mawr tennis team, there’s not doubt that the Mawrtians will either be in the thick of the hunt for an A Conference crown or they will win one — just as they have for four of the past six seasons under coaches Kate Brendler and Matilde Taborda-Almaguer.
After all, since 2003 Bryn Mawr has won or shared nine A Conference banners, three more than its closest pursuer.
Its dominance has even been more pronounced in matches, considering that the Mawrtians have won 34 straight and have posted a 52-1 record since 2013.
And with defending A Conference No. singles champ Lindsay Thompson back in the fold, Bryn Mawr has a head start toward capturing its 10th overall title.
Brendler and Taborda-Almaguer said that there’s a lot to like about Thompson.
“She’s always trying to improve,” Taborda-Almaguer said. “And she likes big challenges.”
The No. 2 singles position is also in good hands with junior Lucie Boucher in charge.
“She’s a very steady,” Brendler said.
She’s a fighter,” Taborda-Almaguer added. “She digs deep.”
Fellow varsity players, senior Sona Kukreja, juniors Julia Brinker, Mia Eventoff, Alexandra Max and Isabell Easter and sophomore Caroline Mikucki, will vie for spots on the doubles teams.
“Every year is a new challenge,” Brendler said, noting an unusually low turnout for the team this season. “But we’ve never had a year like this with no exhibition players.”
The team that they scrimmaged against on Monday, Mount de Sales, doesn’t have the same kind of rich tradition of success.
What the Sailors do have is enthusiasm for the sport and a willingness to learn as they play.
Despite not claiming B Conference titles since going back-to-back in 2012 and 2013, Mount de Sales fashioned a respectable 5-2 mark last fall under coach Ruth Katscheur.
“We’re hoping to fight for one of the top-three spots in the B Conference again,” she said.
Most of the positions are set, including having Miriani Kelly in the No. 1 singles slot.
The No. 2 singles has yet to be determined, according to Katscheur.
The No. 1 doubles, seniors Julianna Mannarelli and Paige Andrus, No. 2 doubles, senior Claire Arnold and junior Riley Cox, and No. 3 doubles, junior Sam Steer and Emily Trietley, are ready to go.
Even though Katscheur has to teach fundamentals to some of her players, she said that enjoys that aspect of the job.
“It’s fun when you see a lot of progress,” she said.