Tennis | Hoyas Prepare for Big East Tournament Play

After rollercoaster seasons that included a variety of results on both the men and women’s sides, the Georgetown tennis teams will travel to Indianapolis, Ind. for the Big East Tournament from April 23 through April 26. The women (11-4, 2-1 Big East) finished the season strongly with a three-match win streak, while the men’s team (8-9, 1-2 Big East) has fallen in four of its last five matches.

The women earned a victory over University of Maryland, Baltimore County (5-2) on April 14, providing a huge momentum boost –  the victory was the third-straight win for the Blue and Gray. Freshmen Daphne de Chatellus and Casey Marx have both been huge contributors this season, and this trend continued when they played against their opponents from the America East conference. Marx and de Chatellus won their singles matches in straight sets, while de Chatellus and sophomore Victoire Saperstein won their doubles match 8-1. Saperstein recorded her fifth-straight victory at the No. 1 singles spot on Wednesday over UMBC sophomore Mariami Dolashvili.

The DePaul women’s team (18-4, 5-0 Big East) earned the No. 1 seed on the women’s side in the tournament, while St. John’s (12-8, 5-1 Big East) was named the top men’s seed – exact replicas of the top seeds in 2014.

The Georgetown women are seeded fifth and will match up against fourth-seeded Marquette (11-10, 2-2 Big East) Friday at noon. The Golden Eagles wrapped up their regular season on a high note with a 6-1 senior day victory over Seton Hall. Georgetown has not faced Marquette so far this season, which Head Coach Gordie Ernst sees as an advantage.

“We’ve never played Marquette, so in a way that’s a good thing,” Ernst explained. “There’s no preconceived notion of how good they are and whatnot. I think it’s a very positive thing.”

The Hoyas lost to No. 3 seed St. John’s 6-1 earlier in the season, but their wins against Villanova and Seton Hall should give them confidence for tournament play.

“I think it’s good, it’s very positive coming off the wins we’ve had, UMBC and Villanova especially,” Ernst said. “The girls were so confident in practice today.”

The men have lost their last three matches against George Mason (11-11, 3-3 Atlantic Ten) 4-3, UMBC (12-6, 1-0 America East) 5-2 and George Washington (10-2, 1-2 Atlantic Ten) 6-1. Despite the losses, the team has still played well in the recent matches and exhibited a high level of competitiveness.

“I think now they actually have some belief that they can play with anyone, and that’s the key,” Ernst said. “When teams lose a lot like as they’ve done recently, you start doubting if you can play with your opponent. They’ve shown that they’re right there with these good players…The guys are in good shape right now”

On the men’s side, No. 6 Georgetown will take on No. 3 DePaul.

Because of their seeding, freshman Peter Beatty knows that the upcoming match will pose a significant challenge for the Hoyas. According to the freshman, a win against DePaul will require every player on the men’s team to be prepared and enthusiastic about the potential upset.

“As a team, we need to, while we’re playing the match, get everyone pumped up on the courts and really bring the atmosphere to another whole level. That’s just showing up every day I think,” Beatty said. “We play DePaul first round and they’re a really tough team and got the better of us earlier so we’re excited to get the chance to beat them.”

According to Ernst, the win will depend on the men’s squad’s ability to play as a unified team – not solely for individual success.

“We’re going to have to play for each other. That’s why the girls have been so successful this year, because they’ve played for each other, whereas the guys haven’t really done that…When you play for your teammates, it makes you fight a little harder.”

On the women’s side, Ernst hopes that the team heads to Indianapolis with confidence and sees the match as no different than any of the Hoyas’ previous contests this season.

“I just want them to treat this like any other tennis match. In the past sometimes we get so hyped up when we play, and then the girls get out there and they freeze – they get paralyzed. We’re just going to do what we’ve done all year.”

All the tournament matches will take place at the Barbara S. Wynne Tennis Center in Indianapolis.

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