Bowdoin Tops Blue Tennis in NCAA Second Round

Marie Watanabe sets up for a shot against Bowdoin. (Courtesy BN Photo)
Marie Watanabe sets up for a shot against Bowdoin. (Courtesy BN Photo)

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- The Wellesley College tennis team closed out the 2011-12 season with a 5-1 loss at the hands of Bowdoin College in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Tournament. The Blue ended their season 17-7 overall and currently hold a #18 ranking in the ITA National Poll.

Bowdoin took a 2-1 edge after doubles play, with wins at #2 and #3, while Wellesley earned a point at #1. The third flight was the first off the court, where Bowdoin's Kate Winingham and Emily Lombardi paired up for an 8-2 win over Melissa Clark and Kendall Tada.

Wellesley tied the match at 1-1, when Marie Watanabe and Sojung Lee teamed up for an 8-4 win over Kellen Alberstone and Emma Lewis at one. Closing out doubles play, Bowdoin's Emma Chow and Chantalle Lavertu topped Diana Granger and Erica Choo at two, giving the Polar Bears the momentum heading into singles. 

In singles, Bowdoin took the first three matches that were finished to seal the 5-1 victory. At two, Winingham topped Choo, 6-2, 6-1, while at three, Lavertu put Bowdoin up 4-1, with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Clark.

The match-clinching victory came in the fourth spot, where Lewis topped Granger, 6-2, 6-2, to punch Bowdoin's ticket to the regional finals. 

Today's battle marked senior Marie Watanabe's final match in Blue. She finished her career with 115 total victories between singles and doubles, and also as a two-time NEWMAC Player of the Year. Watanabe also earned Wellesley's highest athletic honor, the Barbara Barnes Hauptfuhrer Scholar-Athlete Award, and will represent the Blue on the ballot for NCAA Woman of the Year.