‘Bizarre’ finish ends in win over Babson for women’s tennis team
BABSON PARK, Mass. — Before a winner could be decided, a walk through the woods and a change of scenery were required at Thursday’s women’s tennis match between Babson College and visiting Bates College.
The sides were tied at 4-4 when daylight became too spare to continue play at Babson’s unlit outdoor courts. And when Bates sophomore Mallika Raghavan (Chappaqua, N.Y.) lost in the second set, 7-5, to Babson opponent Meena Anvary (Grand Forks, N.D.) in fifth singles, the decision was made to play the 10-point tiebreaker at an indoor facility across campus.
There, with a gallery of teammates from both sides rooting the players on from behind the spectator glass, Raghavan prevailed over Anvary, 6-4, 5-7 (10-7), preserving the 5-4 victory for the Bobcats (2-1).
“That was probably the most bizarre match I’ve seen in 10 years coaching here,” said Bates head coach Paul Gastonguay, in his fourth season as women’s head coach. “There was an open court available at this facility, with a 15-20 minute window to finish up the whole match.
“I didn’t tell Mallika about how much weighed on her tiebraker, but one of her teammates did. She came on strong and played aggressively. It felt good to see a sophomore respond so well to the pressure.”
Other winners for Bates included sophomore Cecilia Grissa (Doylestown, Pa.) at first singles; Caryn Benisch (Huntington, N.Y.) at third singles; Grissa and Liz Currie (Yarmouth, Maine) at first doubles; and Benisch and Raghavan at second doubles.
The Bates women will next compete at the New England championships, starting Oct. 14 at Amherst College.
FIRST DOUBLES: Bates (Cecilia Grissa and Liz Currie) def. Babson (Liz Magner and Meena Anvery), 8-6.
SECOND DOUBLES: Bates (Caryn Benisch and Mallika Raghavan) def. Babson (Heather Walsh and Tryna Neskoromna), 9-8 (7).
THIRD DOUBLES: Babson (Courtney Farrell and Francesca Russo) def. Bates (Karina Bautista and Liz Fleming), 8-2.
FIRST SINGLES: Cecilia Grissa (Bates) def. Courtney Farrell (Babson), 6-4, 6-3.
SECOND SINGLES: Francesca Russo (Babson) def. Liz Currie (Bates), 6-2, 5-7, (10-2)
THIRD SINGLES: Caryn Benisch (Bates) def. Kali Hogan (Babson), 6-1, 6-0.
FOURTH SINGLES: Heather Walsh (Babson) def. Karina Bautista (Bates), 6-3, 6-1.
FIFTH SINGLES: Mallika Raghavan (Bates) def. Meena Anvary (Babson), 6-4, 5-7, (10-7).
SIXTH SINGLES: Iryna Neskoromna (Babson) def. Liz Fleming (Bates) 6-2, 2-6, (10-2).