Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College women's tennis team, coached by Lori Shulman (3rd season), finished the 2017-18 campaign with a 4-9 overall record and 1-7 mark in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) while playing one of the tougher schedules in the country. The Bantams finished the year ranked No. 13 in the NCAA Division III Northeast Region, No. 16 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division III Northeast Regional Poll, and tied with Haverford, Hope, and Lewis and Clark for No. 40 in the ITA Division III National Poll.
The team opened the fall season at the Wallach Doubles Invitational, hosted by Bates, in mid-September. There, senior Sydney Schonefeld (Tiburon, Calif.) won five of her seven matches with two different partners while first-year Morgan Wilkins (Halesite, N.Y.) played seven times with four different partners and won four times.
After competing in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) New England Division III Regional Singles Championships at Williams in late September, Trinity hosted Nichols College in early-October for its lone home match of the fall semester. The Bantams came away with a 6-3 victory despite falling behind, 2-1, after doubles play. Senior tri-captain Vanja Babunski (Belgrade, Serbia) and sophomore Julia Brogan (Falmouth, Maine) earned an 8-6 victory in the No. 1 doubles contest. Babunski also won at No. 1 singles in straight sets, while fellow senior tri-captain Ania Aliev (Needham, Mass.) pulled out a three-setter with a 6-2 victory in the clinching set after dropping the second, 5-7. Sophomore Jillian Winer (Bolton, Mass.) won her singles match in straight sets, and rookie Lily Everett (Atlanta, Ga.) earned her first career dual-match victory, 6-4, 6-4 for the Bantams.
Trinity opened up the spring campaign with a 9-0 loss to Bowdoin during the team's spring trip out west, but bounced back with consecutive victories over Chapman and Wheaton to move to 3-1. The Bantams grinded out a 5-4 victory over Chapman, thanks to Aliev clinching the match, 7-6 (4), 6-3 at No. 5 singles. Against Wheaton the following day, sophomore Krista Jiranek (Owings Mills, Md.) and Winer won together in doubles and in singles to lead the way to a 7-2 win.
The Bantams hit a three-game losing skid to close out the month of March before responding with a NESCAC victory over Colby to kick off the month of April. Trinity wound up on the right side of a 5-4 match, thanks largely in part to a sweep of doubles play. Aliev and Everett teamed up for an 8-2 win at third doubles, while Babunski and Brogan won, 9-7, at first doubles and collected both Bantam singles points with straight-set victories at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the lineup, respectively. Senior tri-captain Emily Curtis (Milton, Mass.) and Winer recorded the remaining Bantam point with an 8-3 triumph at second doubles. Trinity ended the year with five-straight losses but fought hard down the stretch against top competition in the region.
Babunski, Brogan and Winer each collected five wins apiece in singles play this season to help lead the way for Trinity. Babunski and Brogan also finished the year with eight wins, the most of any tandem on the squad, while Jiranek and Winer combined for four wins in doubles play. Aliev and Schonefeld finished the year with a 3-1 doubles mark, the highest winning percentage among Bantam doubles this season.
Trinity also had a successful year in the classroom, as Aliev, Babunski, Brogan, Curtis, Schonefeld and Winer were each named to the NESCAC All-Academic team thanks to their hard work in the classroom. Curtis was also named to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship squad for her positive contributions to the game through sportsmanship.
Babunski finishes her career with a 38-24 singles record and over ten doubles victories with numerous partners. She was chosen as an alternate for the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Singles Championships last season as a junior and finished the 2016-17 season ranked No. 33 nationally in singles. This year also marked the final campaign for Aliev, Curtis and Schonefeld, who have helped compile 19 wins over the last four seasons.