The Georgetown women’s tennis team notched its first win of the season in a closely contested match against Johns Hopkins University, while the men’s team dropped both of its matches.

For the women, the win was desperately needed as the team has played many close matches but has been unable to close them out. After squeaking out the doubles point with a 9-8 win by sophomores Maxi Thiels and Caroline Kuehn, the Hoyas rolled, dominating the middle-four singles matches in which they lost a combined 12 games.

Sophomore captain Alex Sebia returned to her winning ways by grinding out a 6-3, 6-2 win over Johns Hopkins’ Abby Dweyer. Jacquie Harrison continued her hot streak, ceding only one game in her match. Thiels was utterly dominant against No. 39 Anita Bhamidiphati. Without a doubt, the highlight of the match was when freshman Aileen Shea battled back from a set and a break down to win her match in a third-set tie breaker. Kuehn rounded out the Hoyas’ victory, sealing her match 6-1.

Head Coach Gordie Ernst was especially happy with Shea, a Virginia native.

“She is taking over for [our number 1 player, freshman] Michelle Brown,” Ernst said. “She fought back, and she has taken her losses over the year and has become a dedicated worker. She deserved that win.”

Ernst also noted that this victory should not be overlooked.

“The girls have been really working hard,” he said. “All of our matches were really competitive. The young kids on our team are understanding how close the matches can be. They wanted their first win and seized it from a very good team.”

Unfortunately, the men were unable to duplicate the women’s weekend showing. The Hoyas could not sustain their comeback momentum, losing a heartbreaking battle against UMBC 4-3 and dropping their match against James Madison University.

“[The UMBC match] was one of the best matches that I have been a part of at Georgetown,” Ernst said. “In the first two matches, we were down three-nothing. Over the next four hours, we battled back to three-all, with [junior David] Tillem and [freshman Michael] Clarke both winning 7-6 in the third and [senior Adam] Gross coming back

from a set down.”

Having fought back, the Hoyas saw the match come down to sophomore Tim Walsh. Walsh sprained his ankle two weeks ago, and was playing his first competitive match since the injury. Ernst did not mince words when describing his losing performance.

“It was a coming-of-age moment,” he said. “It was his first time playing for the deciding point. You cannot expect him to win. It’s something you need experience at. The next time he plays it, I can guarantee a win. He earned the respect of the entire team.”

Proving Ernst right, Walsh returned to the court the following day and was a straight-set winner over JMU’s No. 6 player.

The other highlight from the weekend was the superb play of Tillem. The junior, who

has become the No. 1 player for Georgetown, won all four of his matches.

Ernst believes the difference between Tillem’s solid play at number one and his somewhat inconsistent play in the middle of the lineup can be attributed to a simple fact.

“He has become more confident,” Ernst said. “He is a better competitor. By playing the

best guys, his game has become better.”

The men play next on March 8 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., while the women return to action following spring break on March 15 when they host Idaho.

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