Third-Ranked Panther Women Defeat No. 9 Williams

Katherine Hughes was a part of two points during Sunday's victory.
Katherine Hughes was a part of two points during Sunday's victory.

The third-ranked Middlebury women's tennis team capped an unbeaten NESCAC home weekend when it defeated No. 9 Williams (5-7, 2-3) Sunday by a 7-2 score on the Proctor Tennis Courts. The Panthers (11-1, 5-0), winners of five-straight matches, return to action Saturday when travel to No. 6 Bowdoin at 9:30 a.m., followed by a 3:30 p.m. match at Bates.

The hosts grabbed two of the three points during doubles play. Williams took the early lead with a narrow 8-7 (2) victory at No. 3. The Panthers answered when the tandem of Katherine Hughes and Skylar Schossberger edged Emily Zheng and Korina Neveux at No. 2 by an 8-6 score, while the top pair of Heather Boehm and Ann Martin Skelly gave the hosts a 2-1 advantage with an 8-4 triumph against Leah Bush and Julia Pham.

In singles action, the Panthers pushed their lead to 3-1 when Hughes claimed a 6-2, 6-0 triumph at No. 2 against Chloe Henderson. The Ephs pulled to within 3-2 with a straight-set win at No. 4.

Middlebury earned the final four matches to finish, with three coming in straight sets. Christina Puccinelli surrendered just two games during a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Neveux in the third spot, while Boehm cruised 6-3, 6-2 against Bush atop the lineup. Maddi Stow dropped the opening set against Pham at No. 5, but rebounded for a 1-6, 6-4, 10-3 win. Emily Bian completed the scoring with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Maxine Ng at No. 6 for the final 7-2 tally.