TENNIS | Mental Toughness Missing
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
The Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis teams competed this weekend for the first time since the Georgetown Classic two weeks ago. The men’s team travelled to Providence, R.I., and put in a strong performance at the Margaux Powers Memorial Tournament on Saturday against Dartmouth, Middlebury and host team Brown. The women’s team played host to Queens (6-1, 5-1 ECC) on Sunday, losing 4-3 overall.
Head Coach Gordie Ernst had mixed feelings about the teams’ performances.
“We make a lot of unforced errors, and we give away way too much to the opponents,” Ernst said. “It shows we’re not mentally strong yet. The best teams are the ones that don’t give away points, and we do that way too much on the guys’ team right now. And quite frankly, we did that in the girls’ match today against Queens College.”
The women’s team lost in a close match to D-II Queens, who stepped up to a new and higher level of competition to upset the D-I Hoyas. Whereas doubles can possibly count for three points in D-II matches, they count for only one point in D-II. Georgetown began the match by defeating Queens in doubles with an overall score of 1-0. However, the match turned in the Knights’ favor once singles began. Queens’ grad student Aylin Mehter beat Georgetown’s freshman Sophia Barnard 6-2, 7-5 in a match that lasted more than three hours.
Senior Kelly Comolli, winning 6-1, 6-2, and freshman Madeline Foley, winning 6-2, 7-5 earned Georgetown’s only singles victories for the day.
“Kelly did a good job,” Ernst said. “She struggled a little bit in our [last tournament], but I was really happy to see [her improvement].”
Ernst was also impressed by Foley’s performance, especially considering the practice opportunities.
“She works so hard, and to just see her go out there and play in a pressure situation during her first real match at Georgetown was great,” Ernst said. “She won the match, so I was really happy about that. She wasn’t even going to play … she had an eye infection … she couldn’t even see out of her eye, but she still wanted to play, and she goes out there and wins. It was great.”
The men fared better than their female counterparts, as junior John Brosens won all three of his singles’ matches against each opposing school. The No. 1 doubles’ team of Alex Tropiano and Casey Distaso disposed of Middlebury with a dominant 8-1 victory.
The Hoyas played in a team format this weekend for the first time this season. Both the men’s team and the women’s team have 10-player rosters, and each added four freshmen this season. Ernst believes that the young teams, and the freshmen, in particular, have some stepping up to do in order to become cohesive, competitive units.
“That [dynamic] only comes with seasoning and playing a lot,” Ernst said. “We’re just not there yet.”
The Hoyas competed this weekend without key players who could have altered the progression of the matches and contributed to that ideal team cohesion. Both senior Andrew Dottino on the men’s team and freshman Victoire Saperstein on the women’s team are currently recovering from injuries and could not participate in this weekend’s matches.
“They’re two of our top players, and they’re both dealing with injuries. Once we get them back, that’ll really help,” Ernst said. “Andy is a great leader and a great competitor as well.”
Next week, the women’s team will participate in the Navy Invitational starting Oct. 11 in Annapolis, Md., and the men’s team plays in against the District of Columbia on Oct. 15. Ernst knows what his teams have to work on in the remaining days before the upcoming competition.