TENNIS | GU Looks to End Slide
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 02:02
After a valuable week off from matches, the Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis teams will return to the court in hopes of ending their recent losing streak. The women’s team (1-6, 0-1 Big East) will play at two neutral locations this weekend, with a match against DePaul (9-1) on Friday and a match against Montana State (0-5) on Saturday. Meanwhile, the men’s team (4-3) will travel to Burke, Va. as they take on Davidson (1-6) on Saturday.
Two weekends ago, the tennis program struggled. The women fell at home in their first Big East match of the year to the St. John’s Red Storm, 5-2. The Big East loss was the fifth consecutive loss for the women. The thought of breaking what was then a four-game losing streak on home turf excited the Hoyas, but even the home-court advantage could not starve off defeat.
“I wish we could play [St. John’s] again because we just played tight at times,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said of the loss against the Red Storm.
Now, the team gets a chance to redeem its loss against DePaul. DePaul, another Big East foe, boasts an impressive 9-1 record. The Hoyas will be looking to avenge their 2012 Big East tournament loss to the Blue Demons. Last year, No. 5 Georgetown fell to the No. 4 Blue Demons 4-3.
Unfortunately, it is not likely that the Blue and Gray will see a different result this time around. The Blue Demons are hot on an eight-match winning streak, including victories against the likes of No. 25 Texas Christian University, Louisville and Oregon.
“DePaul is probably the best team in the Big East,” Ernst said. “We have a challenge with them coming up here, but it’s fine because there’s no pressure, so we can just go out and go for it.”
After DePaul, Georgetown will have a quick turnaround, as the teams take on Montana State on Saturday. The match will be the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
“It was actually kind of random,” Ernst said of the scheduling of the Montana State match, explaining how the Bobcats’ coach recently called him and asked if Georgetown would be interested in playing her team. “I said sure, but I know nothing about them,” Ernst added.
While the women have their hands full with a weekend doubleheader, the men will have the chance to make up for last weekend’s two road losses. After dropping matches to Yale and Bryant, Georgetown is prepared to get back on to the court against Davidson.
“You tell them not to dwell on a loss, you tell them not to dwell on mistakes,” Ernst said.
Saturday’s match, however, gives the Hoyas the opportunity to make the losses irrelevant, according to Ernst.
“You’re only as good as your last match,” Ernst said. “After Davidson, no one will be talking about our loss to Bryant. Now the guys are anxious to get back playing. They realize they’ve got some big matches coming up, and now’s the time to get focused again”
Davidson’s 1-6 record doesn’t properly represent the threat that they pose to Georgetown. The Wildcats lone win came in a convincing 4-2 victory over the Richmond earlier in February — a team that the Hoyas barely beat.
“I think it’s going to be another right down-to-the-wire match,” Ernst said.
The two teams have not played often in recent years, meaning the Hoyas will have little experience with the Wildcats. Senior Connor Evins will prove a formidable opponent, as he’s on a 3-match winning streak at singles.
Davidson’s doubles teams comprised of senior Ethan Kallick and freshman Zack Zapatero impressed in their close 6-4, 7-5 victory against Richmond, possibly posing a threat to the Hoyas’ chances of capturing the important doubles point.
“I’m really curious to see how my guys respond to last weekend,” Ernst said. “This will be a great chance to see where we’re at.”
The women will compete with DePaul on Friday at Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, Va. On Saturday they will take on Montana State at Mount Vernon Athletic Club, while the men will compete with Davidson at Yates Field House.