TENNIS | Murphy Secures Men’s Victory
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 02:01
Thankful for the warm confines of Yates Field House due to the frigid D.C weather, the Georgetown men’s tennis team (2-1) pulled off a close 4-3 victory over the Boston College Eagles (0-1) on Friday.
The first point for the Hoyas came from Georgetown’s three doubles teams. Freshman Max Novak and senior co-captain Casey Distaso played first doubles for the Blue and Gray and took down BC’s Philip Nelson and Hank Workman in a competitive 6-5 (5) match.
The second doubles slot for Georgetown was filled by senior co-captain Andrew Dottino and junior Alex Tropiano. The duo prevailed over the Eagles’ Aidan McNulty and Kyle Childree with a final score of 6-3. The third doubles team, comprised of freshmen pair Yannik Mahlangu and Jack Murphy, secured the first point of the match for Georgetown with a 6-3 finish. The point would ultimately play a critical role in the Hoyas’ victory.
“It’s very hard to beat another team by winning four out of six singles matches,” Head Coach Gordy Ernst said. “That’s why the doubles point is so important.”
Singles play began with Distaso returning to the court against Childree, a match that concluded with a decisive 6-3, 6-3 straight-set victory for Georgetown. The next match also went quickly, when junior Shane Korber was taken down 6-4, 6-1 by BC’s Jonathan Raude.
Georgetown sophomore Daniel Khanin played a close match with Nelson. Although Khanin picked up the first set 6-4, Nelson took the second and third 6-4, 6-3 to tie the overall score of the match at two apiece.
Fortunately for the Blue and Gray, Mahlangu picked up a bit of insurance in the next match, a straight-set victory against McNulty.
Momentum once against shifted, however, after Dottino lost his match 6-3, 6-1. With the overall score tied 3-3, Murphy offered the Hoyas their last hope for a home victory.
“We knew it was going to be a very even battle,” Ernst said. “We knew it was going to be close and it sure was.”
Murphy picked up the first set against Workman with relative ease, but struggled slightly in the second set, allowing Workman to break his serve and tie it, 4-4. However, Murphy broke back to give himself the opportunity to serve for the match. It was a chance he would not squander. Murphy took the second set 6-4 and overall victory for the Hoyas.
After the match, Ernst was full of praise for Murphy, who was Big East Men’s Player of the Week last week.
“Sometimes freshmen get nervous in those situations, and he really didn’t,” said Ernst. “He played to win, he played loose and he wasn’t afraid of trying to win it for us and he did.”
Murphy was not the only freshman with whom Ernst was impressed.
“[The freshmen] kind of led the way,” Ernst said. “It’s great to see for this year and it’s great to see for the future.”
On Sunday, the Georgetown women’s tennis team (1-3) traveled to Annapolis, M.d., to take on Navy (3-1). Coming off of a 0-5 loss to Virginia Commonwealth University, the women were poised to make up for the disappointing sweep but dropped the match 4-3.
“It was just like the BC match, but this time we lost it,” Ernst said. “I’ve got to give the Navy team a lot of credit. They outcompeted us a little bit.”
Like they had for the men, doubles started off promising for the Hoyas, as the team made up of freshmen Victoire Saperstein and Sophia Barnard defeated Darien Sears and Sam Droop, 6-3. Seniors and co-captains Kelly Comolli and Madeline Jaeger finished second with a resounding 6-2 victory over Navy’s Logan Antill and Katie Porter. Though sophomore Liselot Koenen and junior Sophie Panarese fell at first doubles, the point was already captured by the Hoyas.
However, the tables then turned, and Navy won three matches in a row. Saperstein fell in her sixth singles match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2. Comolli fell in straight sets soon afterward, 6-2, 6-2. Koenen found herself defeated with the same final score. Jaeger broke the trend with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Antill.
Panarese put on a strong performance in her fifth singles match. Though she dropped the first match 3-6, she picked up the second 6-4 and won the tiebreak 11-9. Unfortunately, it was not enough. With the match tied up 3-3, Barnard fell 6-2, 7-6 (4) to Droop.
Despite the result, Ernst remained optimistic after the match.
“Just like the guys, we’re going to have a pretty good year as well,” Ernst said. “I’m not worried. It’s still early. The loss isn’t that bad, and the win isn’t that good. I just want both teams to get better and learn from these matches early on.”