TENNIS | Strong Singles Performances Clinch Victory for Men
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 02:02
The Georgetown tennis program had its fair share of ups and downs over the weekend. Traveling to nearby Fairfax, Va., the men’s team (3-1) picked up its third win in a row with a decisive 6-1 rout of the George Mason Patriots. Conversely, the women’s team (1-5) lost twice within the span of 24 hours, falling 5-2 to the Boston College Eagles (3-0) and 5-1 to the Boston University Terriers (3-1).
The men took the courts on Friday at the International Country Club located in Fairfax, Va. The lone point the Patriots won against the Hoyas was the doubles point, with the Patriots pulling out tight wins in two of the three matches. Senior Casey Distaso and freshman Max Novak fell in a close 6-5 (8-6) battle while senior Andrew Dottino and junior Alex Tropiano lost to George Mason’s Taylor Sargent and Tanner Baine 6-5 (7-2). Georgetown’s pair of freshmen standouts Yannik Mahlangu and Jack Murphy continued to dominate, defeating George Mason’s Jimmy Davis and Aaron Capitel 6-1.
The Georgetown men dominated in singles play, however, winning all six matches. In the first singles match for the Hoyas, sophomore Daniel Khanin completed a straight-sets victory against the Patriots’ Jimmy Lange with a 6-3, 6-2 result. All of Georgetown’s other singles victories were also straight-sets matches, with the exception of Distaso’s third singles match against Davis. Distaso captured the first set 6-5 (7-3) but dropped the second 3-6. The senior responded, however, and picked up the third set 6-3 to keep the Georgetown singles players undefeated in the match.
“It doesn’t happen much,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said of the singles sweep. “They [George Mason] had a chance to take some of the matches from us but our guys stayed tough, especially Casey Distaso. He did a great job.”
Murphy and Mahlangu continued to impress in their singles events. Murphy and Mahlangu both were given the Big East Male Tennis Player of the Week in January, an award that they certainly deserved. Not only did the pair dominate in doubles play, but they also each picked up singles wins with scores of 6-1, 6-3 for Murphy and 6-0, 6-4 for Mahlangu at fourth and fifth singles, respectively. Murphy is now 4-0 in singles play on the year.
“I was happy to see all [of] our guys competing in a very serious fashion,” Ernst stated regarding the team’s solid performance.
After falling in doubles, Tropiano competed in the sixth spot and won his first singles event of the year.
The women’s team did not have as much success as the men this weekend. On Saturday it fell to the formidable Boston College team. The Eagles won seven matches in a row to begin the day: three doubles matches and four singles, giving BC a 5-0 advantage.
Georgetown responded with two singles victories courtesy of senior co-captain Madeline Jaeger and freshman Victoire Saperstein. Jaeger and her opponent played a closely contested match, which was one of the last to finish. She captured the first set with a close 7-6 (4) score, but she had a much easier time securing the fourth singles point as she picked up the second set 6-2.
“Maddie Jaeger, the captain, played her best tennis in all four years here at Georgetown in beating the girl from BC,” Ernst said.
Saperstein also overcame a stressful tiebreak in the sixth singles match against BC’s Sarah Dalton 7-6 (5). She finished off the entire match on a solid note for the Hoyas by taking the second set from Dalton 6-1.
The women’s fate did not change for the better as they took on Boston University on Sunday. The women’s record dropped to 1-5 on the season after the 5-1 loss to the Terriers. Saperstein won her second singles match of the weekend in the sixth singles spot for the Hoyas in her victory over BU’s Kim McCallum, 6-3, 6-4. The other five players for the Hoyas, unfortunately, were not as successful.
The Terriers’ Lauren Davis routed senior co-captain Kelly Comolli in the first singles match 6-2, 6-2. The other singles losses were disappointing as well, all ending in straight-sets victories for BU. Freshman Sophia Barnard fell 6-3, 6-2 at second singles, sophomore Liselot Koenen only picked up two games in her 6-1, 6-1 loss and Jaeger lost 6-1, 6-2. Junior SophiePanarese did not win a single game in her first set, and only picked up two in her second.
Though results in Boston were not exactly what the women were looking for, the team is early in the season and Ernst is not too concerned.
“I was very happy with the way the girls competed,” Ernst said. “That’s really what you’re looking for all the time. When the girls are competing as hard as they did, that’s what I’m proud of. I knew it was going to be tough.”
The women return home for their next match Friday against Big East foe St. John’s at 11 a.m. The men will take on Richmond in Boyds, Md., at 11 a.m. on Saturday.