Women's tennis became the third team in Amherst history to reach the NCAA Final Four as the Jeffs knocked off the No. 1 team in the nation, Trinity (TX), 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Falling to eventual national champion Skidmore in the semifinals, Amherst concluded the season as the fourth-best team in the nation, the team's finest finish to date.
The team steamrolled UC-San Diego 9-0 in the first round, including an 8-0 rout by juniors Pam Diamond (Trumbull, CT) and Neely Steinberg (Concord, MA) at No. 1 doubles. The pair dropped only three games in three matches as the three-time New England Champions finished the season 11-1 as a team.
Facing top-ranked Trinity, Amherst took a 3-0 lead after doubles, and a trio of wins by Steinberg and rookies Jamie Cohen (Rye, NY) and Carolyn Pastel (Old Lyme, CT) sealed the win. Pastel posted a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 6 singles, while Diamond and senior captain Sally Childs (Rye, NY) battled through three sets before falling in the third.
Slated to meet Skidmore in the Final Four, Amherst was rallying from a 2-1 deficit after doubles when Diamond went down in her first set with a torn ACL. Shaken by the injury, the Jeffs fell 5-2 and claimed a place in the Consolation match against Gustavus Adolphus. Despite trailing 3-0 early, Cohen, Steinberg, Childs and Pastel claimed singles wins for a respectable 5-4 loss to the Gusties and No. 4 in the nation.
With her injury, Diamond opted out of both the Singles and Doubles Championships, and Cohen was forced to retire in the quarterfinals with a bad shoulder. Amherst returns five of its top six for the fall lineup.
Individual Match Records* Singles Doubles Jamie Cohen '01 14-2 9-3 Pam Diamond '99 8-5 11-1 Neely Steinberg '99 14-0 11-2 Sam Toerge '99 5-8 8-2 Sally Childs '98 10-3 11-2 Carolyn Pastel '01 11-2 10-3 Kristin Ogden '00 1-0 0-1 Patti Jo '01 1-0 4-0 *does not include results from Smith College match Final Record: 9-3 spring, 18-3 overall Last Week: NCAA Team Championship at Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia UC-San Diego, W 9-0 Trinity (TX), W 6-3 Skidmore, L 2-5 Gustavus Adolphus, L 4-5 NCAA Individual Championships at Washington & Lee, Lexington, Virginia