In a much-anticipated match with regional rival the United States Naval Academy,the men’s tennis team took to the courts with high hopes of scoring an upset. The Hoyas started strong going ahead in all of their doubles matches, with senior Adam Gross and freshman Andrew Bruhn securing the first doubles match 8-3. Unfortunately, the two other doubles teams of freshmen Michael Clarke and Mieszko Tomczyk and freshman Ned Samuelson and junior Will Lowell, were unable to sustain their early momentum, dropping their matches by the same score of 8-6.

Having lost the doubles point, the men came firing back with Bruhn overpowering Navy’s winningest player from last year, 7-6 (6), 6-3. Head Coach Gordie Ernst was especially pleased with Bruhn’s play as, “he was in a cast in the fall – he couldn’t backhand, and has been in a brace, but the work he’s put in to become stronger and faster really has shown.”

Battling back from injury has been a common theme for Georgetown players. Although Lowell dropped both his doubles and singles matches, he showed tenacity and grit losing in three sets to Owen Bullard. Ernst said he “could not have been happier with the way Lowell competed.” Having not played since last March’s upset win over St. John’s, Lowell “has put in a ton of time and effort to come back from injury and make his way back into the lineup.” As captain, Gross also grinded out a win for Georgetown, displaying his trademark baseline style, taking the third set 8-6 in a tiebreak. The wins were not enough for the Hoyas though, as they fell 5-2 to Navy.

“The match was not without bright spots,” Ernst said. “We had an especially tough weekend, but I like where this team is at. We are fired up for Maryland.”

The women’s team was also in action this weekend at the VCU 4+1 Tournament. The Hoyas were badly beaten by both Virginia Commonwealth and North Carolina-Wilmington, 4-1 and 5-0, respectively. While the team may have struggled, freshman Michelle Brown blossomed. Pitted against VCU’s number one player, sophomore Kateryna Yergina, a former top 200 junior player, Brown stared down seven match points, rebounding from 9-2 down in the third set super-tiebreaker to win 12-10.

“Two years ago, to the same day, same tournament, same match, we lost in 45 minutes,” Ernst said. “We couldn’t win games, let alone points. Michelle goes down and takes down their number one player, who was a former top world junior player. She was down 9-2 in the breaker, and fought off seven match points. She has such a will to win and competitiveness! She stepped it up, and it was a great moral victory for the team.”

The men play next weekend at Maryland and the women play in two weeks at home in the East Potomac Tennis Center versus California (Pa.).

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