This weekend, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams took steps forward in preparing for the Big East Championships in April by sweeping their weekend matchups.
On the men’s side, the Hoyas (6-10, 0-2 Big East) rebounded from a tight 4-3 loss to George Mason (9-8, 2-4 A-10) Thursday with a pair of victories over The Citadel (10-27, 1-3 Southern Conference) and Navy (16-17, 1-1 Patriot League) on Sunday. The women’s team (10-4, 0-1 Big East), traveled to Maryland on Thursday to battle Towson University (10-7, 2-2 CAA) before ultimately emerging victorious.
The men’s team won the doubles point but fell in singles play in what has become a recurring theme for the Blue and Gray. Juniors Peter Beatty and Mac Rechan took their doubles match in a 6-3 victory against their Navy counterparts.
Earning the Hoyas two of their three points, freshman Ian Witmer won his point-clinching doubles match with sophomore Michael Chen in a 7-5 triumph, and followed it up with a gritty 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory in singles. Head Coach Gordie Ernst praised the freshman’s continued growth throughout the season.
“Witmer had a fabulous week. He’s becoming really match-tough, he’s becoming clutch in big moments for a freshman,” Ernst said.
Junior Marco Lam contributed the final Hoya point in a three-set win over his Patriot opponent, 6-1, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4 in the No. 1 slot.
On Sunday, Georgetown returned to the court for a doubleheader against The Citadel and Navy. The Blue and Gray kicked off its successful Sunday with a 4-0 triumph over the Midshipmen.
Georgetown, led by Beatty and Rechan once again, took the first set of doubles play and never looked back. Beatty continued his strong play with a 6-4, 7-5 win in the No. 1 singles spot. Ernst attributed Beatty’s success to a newfound mentality.
“He’s taken a step back, analyzed what’s not working, and said, ‘How can I change things?’ and that’s exactly what he did,” Ernst said.
Senior Jordan Portner (7-6, 7-5) and sophomore Michael Chen (6-7, 6-2, 6-1) clinched the match for Georgetown with victories in their respective singles matches.
Later in the day, the Hoyas defeated the Citadel Bulldogs in a close 4-3 affair. Balanced singles play and a dominating doubles performance secured the win for Georgetown. The team relied on Beatty again, as the junior contributed points in the No. 1 slot for doubles and singles play. Ultimately, the bottom of the Hoya lineup triumphed, as Chen (6-1, 6-2) and Witmer (6-3, 6-2) won in straight sets in the No. 5 and 6 match, respectively.
On the women’s side, the top of the singles lineup led the charge as it has all season. In the No. 1 singles spot — typically occupied by senior Victoire Saperstein — junior Sara Swift met the challenge head-on, taking the match in three sets, 7-6, 3-6, 6-1.
“I put her at No. 1 singles to give her a shot at playing 1. She’s been playing so well, and she stepped up and clinched the match 6-1 in the third set,” Ernst said.
Saperstein continued her solid year with a 7-6, 6-4 victory in the No. 2 slot, while sophomore Sydney Goodson rebounded from a first-set loss in the No. 5 match to win 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. In doubles play, Goodson and her partner sophomore Risa Nakagawa triumphed 6-2, while Swift and senior Madeline Foley grabbed the doubles point with a 7-5 win.
As the regular season winds down and postseason nears, Ernst preached the importance of building winning habits.
“The goal is to continue to win,” Ernst said. “Winning is a learned behavior, so if you continue to win, it can only help us at the Big East to give us confidence.”
The Hoyas look to achieve Ernst’s goals when the men travel to Philadelphia on Friday to battle Temple University (13-8, 1-3 AAC), while the women host DePaul (9-6, 1-1 Big East) in a Big East showdown April 8.
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