BY KARI FOSSUM ’20
The Mount Holyoke Lyons tennis team contested the Bates College Bobcats at their home court on Sat. March 3. The Lyons put forth great efforts in both the singles and doubles events. Catherine Peabody ’20 and Anya Gerasimova ’21 posted an early doubles win, taking the lead over Bates 8-4. Ching-Ching Huang ’20 also claimed her match for the Lyons in singles play. The Mount Holyoke contingent played strongly throughout the day, shouldering narrow losses to ultimately concede the overall victory to Bates.
The match was also a fundraising effort, with proceeds going to the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative, a cause near and dear to the Lyons. After her mother was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the fall, Katie Schumacher ’18 knew that the annual Coaches vs. Cancer match would be the perfect opportunity to show support and raise awareness for the disease.
“This match was the most important of my collegiate career because we were able to honor my mom,” said Schumacher. “My mom made a special trip out to Mount Holyoke for this match [which honored] her before her surgery … We all wore [blue cancer] ribbons and special shirts that read ‘Mount Holyoke Tennis vs. Cancer.’ Today was a very emotional day.” Schumacher won her match 6-1, 6-0.
“No question, Katie was the main fundraiser on this effort for our Coaches vs. Cancer match this season,” said Head Coach Aldo Santiago. “She raised most of the money by involving many of her friends and family. Team members and families also contributed.” The team raised $1,130 — $130 more than their goal and, according to Schumacher, “significantly more than in past years.”
Although the Lyons faced a narrow loss against the Bobcats, both teams displayed cohesion and solidarity for Coaches vs. Cancer. “While the overall team score wasn’t what we wanted it to be, I felt Bates was a good team for us to face to get us to be even more motivated to work harder,” said Catherine Peabody ’21. “We went into this match with a lot of momentum from the Seven Sisters Tournament last weekend. I look forward to our upcoming spring trip where we’ll face more tough competition. I think our hard work and determination in the beginning of the season will set us up for a successful rest of the season.”
The Lyons will be traveling to Orlando this break to face Colby-Sawyer College on March 13, Texas-Tyler College on March 14 and Haverford College on March 15.