The Babson College women’s tennis program took center stage Monday, earning a pair of national runner-up distinctions at the NCAA Division III Singles and Doubles Championships in Orlando, Florida.
Sophomore Olivia Soffer ’25 won four singles matches over three days to advance to the national championship match. In the final Monday, Angie Zhou of Pomona-Pitzer defeated Soffer, 6-2, 6-2, ending her 17-match winning streak. Soffer also teamed with first-year Matia Cristiani ’26 in doubles, advancing to the national championship match, which Brooke Despriet and Katherine Petty of Sewanee won 6-4, 6-2.
Soffer (31-2), the tournament’s top-seeded singles player, dropped only one set on her way to the title match. She defeated Sabrina Tang of Grinnell, 6-1, 6-1, in the first round; Nathalie Williams of Swarthmore, 6-0, 6-1, in the second round; Hannah Kassaie of Case Western Reserve, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, in the quarterfinals; and Eleni Lazaridou of Kenyon, 6-1, 6-2, in the semifinals. A 2022 ITA All-American and two-time NEWMAC Player of the Year, Soffer has set Babson single-season records for both singles wins and combined singles and doubles wins (54) this season.
In doubles, Soffer and Cristiani, Babson’s first doubles team to play in the NCAA championships, also dropped only a set on the road to the final. They defeated Sabraina Tang and Ioanna Giannakou of Grinnell, 6-1, 6-2, in the first round; Emily Kantrovitz and Ana Cristina Perez of Emory, 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals; and Lauren Rha and Nina Ye of Pomona-Pitzer, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, in the semifinals. Cristiani won a program single-season record 24 doubles matches, and she and Soffer posted a 23-4 record.
The national success comes on the 25th anniversary of Babson standout David Weisman ’98 winning the Division III Singles Championship in 1998—the only individual national champion in Babson history. Five Babson teams have won the national title—men’s soccer three times (1975, 1979, and 1980), men’s ice hockey in 1984, and men’s basketball in 2017.
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