TENNIS | Mixed Results in Home Opener
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 01:09
The tennis courts were filled with activity this weekend as Georgetown played host to five different teams in the Georgetown Classic. The tournament, where athletes competed as individuals instead of in the regular season team format, not only gave players a chance to ease back into competition but also gave coaches a chance to see how their players compare to other teams. For Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst, the tournament yielded mixed feelings.
“I was content. Not overly happy or enthused. We did what we expected on the girls’ side,” Ernst said. “I was a little disappointed on the guys’ side.”
Four women’s players, senior co-captains Maddie Jaeger and Kelly Comolli, freshman Sophie Barnard and junior Sophie Panarese, made it to the quarterfinals. Barnard went on to the semifinals where she lost to the eventual singles champion, George Washington’s Lana Robbins, 6-0, 6-4.
“I knew Sophie was going to be ready — she played competitively this summer,” Ernst said. “Kelly and Maddie just need to get back playing. They are hardworking, competitive girls; it’s just a matter of getting back into competition.”
On the men’s side, sophomore Daniel Khanin, junior Shane Korber and freshman Yannik Mahlangu reached the quarterfinals, but all fell short. Mahlangu won the first set 6-0 but then dropped the next set 6-2 before losing in a tiebreaker, 10-1.
Freshman Jack Murphy lost in the round of 64 but came back to reach the consolation round final, ultimately losing a tight three-set match to Johns Hopkins’ Jeremy Dubin. Senior captain Casey Distaso won his first match 6-4, 7-5, but lost his second 7-5, 6-0.
“There was one really good player — the guy who won it all — and then just a bunch of average players. I don’t say that to degrade them, but they were just OK guys, and I thought we should have played through a little more,” Ernst said. “I’m going to expect more from our guys, but I wouldn’t say I’m worried.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams have 10-player rosters, and each team has four freshman players this semester, creating what will prove to be an interesting dynamic for the young teams.
“These freshmen, like all freshmen, they think they know everything,” Ernst said. “A lot [of the teaching] comes from the juniors and seniors and not me preaching. It’s the ones that don’t listen where there can be trouble.”
Ernst is optimistic that his freshmen are of the listening variety.
“That’s the million-dollar question,” Ernst said, laughing. “But I hope so.”
Despite the youth on his teams’ rosters, Ernst is excited about the possibilities for the team.
“As a group, this is just an unbelievable group of kids,” Ernst said. “This is a group where everyone gets along so well, it’s a pleasure.”
Next weekend, both teams will play tournaments in the team format for the first time this season. The women’s team will play at Queen’s College on Sunday and the men’s team will play in the Margaux Powers Memorial Tournament at Brown next Saturday.
“Next week, when we go up to Brown, that’s what our guys look forward to because we play as a team,” Ernst said.