TENNIS | Hoyas Falter in Weekend Matches
Published: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 00:02
Unlike the past few weekends, both the Georgetown men’s (4-3) and women’s (1-6, 0-1 Big East) teams achieved only disappointment. The men dropped both of their matches, while the women lost their fifth consecutive one.
The women’s team stayed on the Georgetown campus, courts on Yate’s Field House’s courts Friday morning. Any hope of breaking its slump was erased by a disappointing 5-2 result against St. John’s. The Red Storm quickly grabbed the doubles point winning the first and second doubles matches.
Junior Sophie Panarese and sophomore Liselot Koenen impressed in their first doubles match when they rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the match at 5. But the pair still dropped the match 8-5, the same score with which senior co-captains Madeline Jaeger and Kelly Comolli lost their match at second doubles.
Freshman pair Victoire Saperstein and Sophia Barnard did not finish their match, because St. John’s took the doubles point before their play concluded. The match ended with the score at 7-7.
“They [Barnard and Saperstein] were doing okay, but it was disappointing,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “I didn’t think they were a good doubles team at all, and we did not play well. You just can’t come up with excuses or anything.”
With the doubles point gone, the Hoyas relied on singles play to give them a chance at the conference victory at home. Barnard stepped up into the first singles spot for the first time this season to take on St. John’s senior Khrystyna Pavlyuk, but she lost the match 6-1, 7-5.
Jaeger temporarily turned the tide in favor of the Hoyas in her straight-sets victory against Red Storm senior Diamond Adams 6-3, 6-1. Jaeger is now 4-2 in singles play this year, having won her third singles contest in four matches.
“She just keeps continuing to play the best tennis of her career,” Ernst said regarding Jaeger’s strong singles performance. “I’m really, really proud of her.”
Saperstein grabbed the second — and last — point for the Hoyas in her fifth singles victory ending with a 6-4, 6-1 result.
The other four Hoyas who competed in singles play all fell in straight sets, with the exception of Panarese who competed in the sixth singles position. Panarese barely picked up the first set 7-6, but lost the next two 6-3, 10-6.
“That’s the hard part about being a coach,” Ernst said. “You sit there and you know what your kids can do and they don’t do it. It was a disappointing start to conference matches.”
The Yale Bulldogs (3-2) snapped the men’s four-game winning streak in New Haven, Conn. The Hoyas impressed in doubles play, taking the point with victories in the first doubles and third doubles slots. Senior co-captain Casey Distaso partnered with junior Shane Korber for the first time in this season, defeated Yale’s Patrick Chase and Kyle Dawson 6-5. Though junior Alex Tropiano and sophomore Daniel Khanin fell at second doubles, the freshmen duo comprised of Jack Murphy and Yannik Mahlangu pulled out a 6-5 win.
“We come out and we win the doubles, so we’re up one nothing. That’s a great start,” Ernst said.
The Blue and Gray unfortunately were not able to find the same success in singles play. Georgetown only managed one singles victory with Mahlangu in the fifth singles slot. After losing the first set 2-6, Mahlangu won the last two sets 6-4, 6-4. Khanin, Korber, Distaso, Murphy and Tropiano, however, could not overcome Yale’s strong singles competitors.
“All of a sudden there was a huge momentum shift. They got more confident, and we got less aggressive. They turned it around and beat us,” Ernst said. “Those things can happen so fast and that’s the way it went. There were battles on all the courts.”
Georgetown faced a quick turnaround as they prepped to take on another set of bulldogs on Sunday, this time against Bryant University, were 1-3 in 2014 entering the match. Despite entering the day as favorites, the Hoyas lost the match 4-3.