TENNIS | Hoyas Set to Take on Eagles
Published: Friday, January 24, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 24, 2014 01:01
As expected, the Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis teams fared very well in the 4+1 Invitational Tournament hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University last Friday. Both teams beat Campbell University but were defeated by VCU. In addition to eight overall wins, the Hoyas gained experience from playing the talented VCU squads.
In the match against Campbell, the women went 3-2 with freshman Sophia Barnard and senior Madeline Jaeger defeating their singles opponents. Freshman Victoire Saperstein and sophomore transfer Liselot Koenen won in doubles, clinching the winning point in the team victory. Against VCU, on the other hand, the women’s team did not perform as well, losing 5-0. This result, however, is deceiving, according to Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst.
“[The women’s team] was close with VCU, Kelly [Comolli] was match point in her match and Maddy Jaeger was close to winning her match,” Ernst said. “So to me, we played a tough Campbell team, then to come out and play a VCU team who is nationally ranked was very impressive. We were very excited to see that.”
The men’s team produced similar results to the women by beating Campbell 4-1, with each Hoya who participated in singles matches came out on top. Sophomore Daniel Khanin, junior Shane Korber, senior Casey Distaso and freshman Jack Murphy all beat their Campbell opponents. Following the trend of the day, VCU defeated the men 4-1. Murphy was the lone winner and eventual recipient of the Big East Player of the Week award.
“Jack Murphy won at number four, but other than that, it wasn’t that close [for the men]. ... VCU is as solid of a team as I have seen in years — their doubles team was exceptional. The guys played really well against Campbell. We did a really good job of winning that match,” Ernst said.
Murphy’s first Big East award came after he beat both of his opponents this weekend to help the Blue and Gray split their matches. Murphy overcame VCU freshman Jack Svennson in two consecutive sets, 6-1, 6-1. Murphy then went on to defeat Campbell freshman Jean-Marc Krone in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Murphy leads the men’s tennis team in wins, tallying his 11th this weekend.
“Jack is extremely enthusiastic; he has the fight in him that is needed in college tennis. He’s not afraid out there,” Ernst said. “He’s really figured out what it’s like to produce every single day — in the gym, on the track and on the court, he’s really working hard. I expect the same thing from my other freshmen as well.”
The Blue and Gray will play host to Boston College this Friday at Yates Field House. This will be the Eagles’ first match since October 2013. The Hoyas arguably have the advantage after a well-played tournament. The event will be regular match style, as opposed to last weekend’s tournament style.
“We have experience on this team, and I’m hoping we do better with this pressure. [The advantage] can slip away quickly if we don’t come out strong. We are very similar teams, and I hope we are ready,” Ernst said.
Only one returning player from BC’s women’s team held a winning record last season. Junior Wan-Yi Sweeting had an overall record of 8-3 for the combined fall and spring seasons and seems to be the only major threat to the Hoyas this weekend. Other players on the BC women’s team to look out for are junior Heini Salonen, who went 9-9 last season, junior Katya Vasilyev, who went 8-8 and senior Jessica Wacnik, who went 7-12.
For the BC men, no returning player had a winning record last season. However, three standouts will be searching for redemption after mediocre seasons last year. Junior Kyle Childree went 7-13 last season, senior Philip Nelson ended the year at 4-16 and senior Matt Wagner finished with a 8-12 record .
In the fall season, three Georgetown players had winning records. Freshman Sophia Barnard went 6-3 in singles this fall for the women. The men’s team had junior John Brosens go 6-3 in doubles and freshman Jack Murphy go 9-4 in singles. Another fall standout on the women’s side was senior Kelly Comolli who split her matches, 3-3.
“We’ve beaten them in the past so they’ll feel like the underdogs. We’re excited to play at Yates where we practice every day, and I think everyone is really looking forward to it,” Ernst said.
While the match on Friday will be a seemingly even one, Georgetown’s experience and past records gives the team a slight advantage. With players like Comolli, Jaeger, Murphy and returning senior captain Andrew Dottino, the Hoyas might not be so hospitable as they play host to the Eagles.