In almost any college sport, championships are won by either being consistently better than your opponents or peaking at the right time. With the Big East tournament just around the corner, the Georgetown men’s tennis team is trying to follow the latter of the two paths.

After dropping 10 matches in a row, the Hoyas have stormed back to a 7-10 record by winning two matches against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Richmond, putting Georgetown on a five-game winning streak. According to head coach Gordie Ernst, the team showed great poise, which he says is a reflection of their character.

“They had 10 matches that could have easily been split 5-5 but instead they were 0-10,” Ernst said. “True judgment of character is how you respond to adversity, and these guys have clearly shown they have such character.”

While the rest of the student body went away for Easter vacation, the men were building on their remarkable turnaround by shutting out Richmond in a 7-0 victory. The Hoyas picked up two of three of the doubles matches and lost only one set in the singles matches. Senior Jeff Schnell squeaked by Richmond’s Doug Banker in a 7-5 third set, and the Hoyas rolled the rest of the lineup from there. Sophomore Anthony Tan also posted his most commanding win of the season in a 6-0, 6-0 match.

“When he keeps his head in the game and focuses, great things happen,” Ernst said of Tan.

Junior Adam Gross and sophomore Dave Tillem prevailed with 7-5, 7-6 and 6-4, 6-4 wins respectively, and seniors Ted Tywang and Etienne Paris completed the shutout with straight-set wins.

From there, the men headed home for the contest against UMBC. A victory in the second doubles position by junior Kevin Walsh and Tillem was followed by a nail biting third-position doubles finish by Tan and Tywang, who saved a match point to turn the game around and win.

Tillem kept things going for Georgetown by posting a straight-sets victory (6-4, 7-5) over UMBC’s Nick Savage-Pollack. Schnell followed suit, using his trademark serve and deep returns to win by the same score line.

“[Schnell] continues to fly under the radar. While his wins are rarely dramatic, he can consistently be counted on to pull one out,” Ernst said. He is playing with the skills of a senior but the determination of a freshman.”

With a 3-0 lead, the match could be won by any of the remaining individual matches. After Georgetown fell to 3-2 in the overall match score, junior Ken Wong pulled off a 6-1 third set to secure his match, and Tywang closed things out with a 6-2, 7-5 win to put Georgetown up 5-2 over UMBC.

The women’s team, however, has not been able to share the same success as the men. After a losing campaign in Florida, the team fell by the same scores that the men won by, losing 7-0 to Richmond and 5-2 to UMBC. The two matches were not without highlights, as freshmen Alex Sebia and Elizabeth Sullivan posted singles wins against UMBC. Sebia also took her match against Richmond to three sets.

Ernst said Sebia performed well.

“When she steps out onto that court she forgets everything else, and goes out there and takes down her opponent,” he said. “It is great stuff from a freshman.”

The women’s match against cross-town rivals George Washington was suspended yesterday due to rain.

The women will look to turn things around against Rutgers on Saturday, and the men will look to continue their winning streak against the George Washington Colonials at 2 p.m. today.

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