Following a two-week rest since his squad’s last match, Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst worried his team would not be ready for their home date against Richmond. Much to Ernst’s delight, the Hoyas came out firing on all cylinders and never let up en route to a commanding 7-0 sweep of the Spiders. The victory runs Georgetown’s winning streak to three matches and extends its record to 5-3. Richmond, currently on a three-match skid, moves to 5-8. “I don’t know what else to say other than we came out ready to play,” Ernst said. “This was our best outing of the year, man for man. Everyone played just about as well as they could.” Junior Jeff Schnell and sophomore Kevin Walsh started off the match with an 8-6 victory at No. 1 doubles. After a victory at the second-flight doubles, junior Ted Tywang and freshman David Tillem extended their spring doubles record to 5-1 with an 8-3 win at No. 3 doubles. Ernst has worked to improve doubles in his first year with the Hoyas. Georgetown’s 9-7 record in doubles matches is well on pace to eclipse last year’s losing mark of 21-34. “When we started warming up for singles, I could tell the guys were different – they were looser,” Ernst said. “That doubles point is huge.” The doubles’ success carried over into the singles matches for the Hoyas – they did not drop a set in their six match victories. Schnell, a co-captain, once again led the way as he easily beat Richmond senior Bobby McNally 6-4, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. Tywang then won his match at sixth-flight singles, and freshman Anthony Tan sealed the deal for Georgetown with a 6-4, 6-3 win over junior Chris Louis at No. 2. Even though the match was decided, the rest of the team saw no reason to ease up. Freshman Will Lowell, sophomore Adam Gross and Tillem all finished out straight-set victories in their singles matches to make it a clean sweep for Georgetown. The Hoyas seem to have the Spiders’ number this year, as Georgetown defeated Richmond 3-0 earlier in the year at the Virginia Commonwealth 4+1 Tournament. Ernst is pleased with his team’s early wins and maturation up to this point in the season. “You can tell that the guys are gaining confidence when you see how they handle adversity in a match,” he said. “You get confidence by winning – by beating St. Joe’s and Navy.” The Hoyas’ current three-match winning streak includes a 6-1 victory over St. Joseph’s (4-4) and a 5-2 defeat of Navy (5-5). They have come a long way from last year’s team, which lost 7-0 to Navy and 4-3 to Richmond. Georgetown will have another two weeks off before they welcome Cornell (3-1) to the McDonough Tennis Complex. The Big Red, who play in the highly competitive Ivy League and whose only loss came at the hands of a nationally ranked Penn State squad, should provide a stiff challenge for the Hoyas. Georgetown is already eyeing a fourth seed when the conference tournament rolls around in late April, and its difficult non-conference schedule is meant to prepare the team for Big East play. “Winning is a learned behavior,” Ernst said. “It’s not a light switch you can turn on and off.” As they will not have any of Ernst’s patented and efficient practices over spring break, the players must prepare for the Cornell match individually. Ernst said that some of the men will be playing practice matches at the Saddlebrook Academy in Florida, an institution where tennis great Pete Sampras used to practice. The remaining players will practice on their own to gear up for the big match. Though it is not a Big East tilt, this is an important match for Georgetown considering last year’s 7-0 loss at the hands of the Big Red. “Some of our guys were looked over by Cornell [in recruiting], so there is a little bit of a score to settle,” Ernst said. The match is set for 1 p.m. on March 10.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.