The Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis teams kicked off their home 2014 campaigns in the Georgetown Classic last Friday in competitions against George Washington University and Morgan State University.

An obvious change in this year’s Georgetown Classic was the tournament’s location. In the past, all of the matches took place on Georgetown’s very own outdoor McDonough Courts in the heart of campus. However, with heavy equipment in the area for the construction of the new John Thompson Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center, the Georgetown women’s team was forced to relocate to the Georgetown Prep Visitation Center.

“With the courts being torn up we couldn’t really host a big tournament like we have in the past,” men’s and women’s Head Coach Gordie Ernst said.

The women’s team utilized a mixture of experienced returning players and freshmen in its six matches. Sophomore Sophia Barnard impressed in her 7-5, 3-6, 11-9 victory in second-seeded singles. Meanwhile, junior Liselot Koenen and sophomore Victoire Saperstein edged out GWU in the doubles slot with a final score of 8-7 (7-2). However, Saperstein, senior captain Sophie Panarese and freshman Casey Marx all fell in their respective singles matches.

Georgetown also faced Morgan State in a variety of casual matches, which resulted in wins for two Hoya newcomers.

Freshmen Daphne de Chatellus and Nicole Koskovolis won their first matches for the Blue and Gray, and drew praise from Ernst.

“Even though it wasn’t a sanctioned event it was still great for them to do well. It was really just about getting some experience,” Ernst said.

Today, the women will compete with the University of D.C., against whom they will have a significant advantage. As UDC’s team only has five players, it will be forced to default in sixth-seeded singles and third-seeded doubles. Thus, Georgetown will boast a 2-0 lead before the matches even begin.

While the women’s team competed at the Visitation Center, the men’s team hit the courts at the George Washington Tennis Center against a combination of GWU and Morgan State athletes.

Most impressive was the play of Hoya freshmen Peter Beatty and Marco Lam. Not only did the newcomers win in straight sets in their individual singles matches, but they successfully paired up with Hoya veterans to find success in doubles play as well. Lam and junior Daniel Khanin paired up and triumphed over Morgan State’s Duk Young-Park and Evan Ward 8-5. Beatty and senior co-captain Alex Tropiano then won in their doubles match by the decisive final score of 8-1.

“They’re continuing their winning ways,” Ernst said of Lam and Beatty. “They won against University of D.C. in singles and doubles [last week], and then they won their matches at singles and doubles last Friday. They’re both rolling as freshmen.”

Young-Park defeated Georgetown’s Khanin in a close match that featured a 10-point tiebreaker. Sophomores Jack Murphy and Jordan Portner also competed with Morgan State athletes, each winning decisively in two straight-set matches. However, senior co-captains Shane Korber and Tropiano both lost in their individual singles matches.

“We did well in doubles but in singles we were looking for a little better results from our guys. I don’t think they played as well as they could possibly play, but it’s early in the season,” Ernst said. “I expect more from them. Shane’s a senior and Tropiano’s a senior, he lost in straight sets … so we’re definitely looking for our experienced guys to play better.”

The men’s squad now looks forward to Friday’s matches at the University of Pennsylvania. Hoping to put their singles inconsistencies behind them, Ernst sees this match as an opportunity to get off on the right foot for Georgetown’s 2014 season.

“I think we’re going to stand better this week when we go up to Penn, and we’re playing Cornell [at the Penn Invitational as well] — that should be a great match,” Ernst said.

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