Women’s tennis ends season with loss to Lehigh prior to Patriot League Championships

The Leopards have won six consecutive matchups against Holy Cross, their first round opponent. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

The women’s tennis team wrapped up their regular season with rival Lehigh last weekend, falling 7-0 to the Mountain Hawks and capping their regular-season record at 3-6 with a 1-4 mark in the Patriot League.

Each of the Leopards put up several points even in defeat, including senior Cece Lesnick who won the second match at No. 6 singles before dropping the third.

“Every single one of our matches against Lehigh was a tough fight,” said senior Sammi Snyder. “It felt nice that we were able to compete. Although we lost, I’m proud of everyone for not just giving them the match. I think this year Lehigh really had to work for each line of singles, which felt good especially on Senior Day.”

Lafayette honored the team’s seniors during the Saturday match, with Snyder, Macquarie Simon and Ruthie Wilson set to graduate this spring. At least one of the players, Lesnick, plans to use the extended NCAA eligibility to compete next year.

Lesnick will surely miss her doubles partner, Snyder, as the two amassed a 34-19 record while playing as a duo over the last four years.

“We’ve been able to practice every day this week coming off the Lehigh loss where we all were able to compete nicely,” Snyder said. “We’re mostly trying to relax and have fun because tennis is mentally so tough so staying calm is super important.”

Snyder also wants to leave it all on the court in her final collegiate tournament after several years as a ringer for the Leopards.

“My team made it super special for me and my two other seniors,” Snyder said. “It was very emotional thinking about it being one of my last competitive matches in the sport I’ve loved my whole life. I’m hoping to play this weekend with confidence and leave the court with no regrets.”

The team competed through an uneven schedule this spring, as six matches were canceled due to COVID-19 outbreaks – leaving the squad with less competition after none of the games were rescheduled.

“Unfortunately, [COVID-19] has canceled quite a few of our matches and had a lot of our players isolate because of quarantine,” Snyder said. “I think it made the time we did have on the court more memorable and meaningful knowing how it wasn’t promised.”

Next up for the Leopards is the Patriot League Tournament, which runs from April 29 until May 2 in Annapolis, Md. Lafayette will first face Holy Cross, who they defeated earlier this spring with a 6-1 victory to extend their winning streak to six in a row against the Crusaders dating back to the 2017 season.

The winner of the opening round match will advance to play Boston University in the quarterfinals. The Terriers are undefeated in the Patriot League this spring at 3-0 and carry a 7-1 overall record.

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