WOMEN'S TENNIS | GU Win Streak Hits Six After Homestand
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Saturday, April 14, 2012 12:04
The Georgetown women’s tennis team (13-5, 3-2 Big East) enjoyed another week of success, winning all three home matches to extend their winning streak to six. The Hoyas first rolled past Stony Brook last Thursday in a 6-1 decision and the next day topped Big East rival Seton Hall by the same score. Then, on Tuesday, the Blue and Gray cruised to an easy 7-0 victory over Saint Francis at home to keep the run going.
While the Hoyas may have made quick work of Stony Brook, they still faced some tough opponents in several close three-set matches. At No. 3 singles, sophomore Kelly Comolli won the first set, 7-5, then dropped the second set, 3-6, before storming back to win the third, 11-9, to secure the win. Freshman Sophie Panarese likewise won her match in three sets at No. 5 singles, fighting back after dropping the first set by taking the second and third, 7-6 and 10-6, respectively.
Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst had high praise for Comolli and Panarese for these hard-fought wins.
“It just comes down to playing under pressure. They have had success in three-setters because they really enjoy competing — even playing tournaments in the summer — so they are always building that foundation of playing under pressure,” Ernst said.
Except for junior Alexandra Landers’ walkover at No. 6, the Hoyas won the rest of the singles matches against SBU in straight sets to secure an impressive victory.
In Friday’s match against Seton Hall, the Blue and Gray took an early lead by picking up doubles points in the first two matches. The No. 2 pair of sophomore Tina Tehrani and junior Vicky Sekely won with a score of 8-3, and the No. 3 team of Panarese and sophomore Madeline Jaeger clinched an 8-4 triumph.
In singles play, the Hoyas picked up the No. 3 singles point with Sekely’s commanding 6-0, 6-0 victory. Panarese also won her No. 6 singles match in straight sets before Comolli decided the match with a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 4. Tehrani and Jaeger went on to win their matches in straight sets, too, while senior Lauren Greco — who was recovering from a finger injury — had a rare straight-set loss in the No. 1 spot.
An even more dominant performance was in store for the Blue and Gray against St. Francis.
Not only did the Hoyas blank SFU without dropping a single set, but they held the Red Flash to a mere 12 total games, compared to the 86 that the Hoyas amassed. Panarese continued a remarkable rookie campaign with a win at the No. 5 spot, lengthening her win streak to 7 matches. The freshman from Milton, Mass., has won 14 out of her past 15 singles matches.
Coach Ernst spoke highly about Panarese’s role in the Georgetown program both currently and in the future.
“[Sophie] will be an integral part of the team for all four years. She keeps her head on the court and competes at all times. She’s the team favorite,” Ernst said.
While Panarese’s play and the squad’s recent string of victories are surely things to be proud of, Ernst is staying focused on what lies ahead.
“Honestly, [our win streak] is the furthest thing from my mind. Right now I am focused on the match against Syracuse tomorrow. We have been looking ahead to this match since September,” Ernst said. “Syracuse is a top-50 team and we are going to have our hands full, but they are the favorite and we have nothing to lose.”
That challenging matchup with the Orange is set to begin today at 1 p.m. in Syracuse, N.Y. The Hoyas will then have little time to rest, as they face another Big East foe, Villanova (6-11, 1-4 Big East), tomorrow at noon.