The Hoyas are developing a tradition that they’d rather not continue: For the past three seasons, the men’s tennis team has finished last in the Big East tournament.

Georgetown, the No. 6 seed in a field of eight, lost 4-0 to No. 3 South Florida on Friday afternoon and then was downed 4-0 by No. 7 St. John’s in the consolation bracket on Saturday morning. The Hoyas finished in a tie for seventh place with Villanova.

Georgetown has not finished in the top half of the tournament since 1995.

Friday, the Hoyas won just one set against host USF The Bulls swept the doubles matches, while the Hoyas combined for just seven games in all three matches.

During the singles matches, the Bulls quickly trampled the Hoyas. The singles matches that counted toward the final score were senior Jeff Schnell’s 6-0, 6-4 loss, sophomore David Tillem’s 6-0, 6-2 loss and junior Adam Gross 6-2, 6-1 defeat. After those three matches concluded and USF had a 4-0 lead, the contest was called, but Georgetown saved face in a few other singles matches. Sophomore Anthony Tan won his first set at No. 3 singles, 7-6, and was tied 1-1 in his second set before the contest was called due to the Bulls’ 4-0 lead. Junior Ken Wong lost a close first set and was up 4-1 in his second set.

After noting that playing in the heat may have been an advantage for USF, Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst explained that the Bulls were simply a more talented team. “They’re just at a better level than us – a level we’d like to be at,” he said. “They’re one of the best teams in the country.”

Ernst was pleased with the efforts of his players, though, noting the matches Tan and Wong played in particular.

“[Wong] has been in and out of the lineup, and he’s done whatever I’ve asked him to do,” Ernst said. “He’s so coachable and a perfect utility guy, and when he’s in the lineup, he fights for every point.”

In the consolation bracket, the 4-0 shutout belied several strong individual efforts from Georgetown. Schnell and Gross won their doubles match, and yet again, Tan won his first set and was in the process of winning his second set at 5-4 when the contest was decided.

With their season over, the Hoyas must now say goodbye to their three seniors – Schnell, Ted Tywang and Etienne Paris.

“We had an emotional dinner with the seniors,” Ernst said. “I couldn’t ask for three better seniors.”

On the women’s side, Georgetown ran into equally tough competition. Although it did make the tournament for the first time since 2000, the team finished tied for 11th and last place out of the 12-team field.

In the first round on Thursday, DePaul swept Georgetown 4-0. The 12th-seeded Hoyas could not muster a set win over the No. 5 Blue Demons, and Georgetown took just 19 points from the nationally-ranked DePaul.

Always the optimist, Ernst saw through the loss to the strong play his team displayed. “I think we brought our best tennis of the year against DePaul,” he said.

Friday, the Hoyas fell 4-1 to Pittsburgh. Freshman Caroline Kuehn won her match at No. 6 singles 6-4, 6-1 for Georgetown’s only win of the weekend. Freshman Elizabeth Sullivan came close in her match, as she lost her first set on a tiebreaker and was up 2-1 in her second set when the match was called.

While the women will return their four stellar freshmen, they lose seniors Steph Cohen and Liz Winokur. Cohen and Winokur were both captains this year.

“The seniors played for four years, and they deserved to go to the Big East tournament,” Ernst said. “It’s a great send-off.”

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