The Georgetown men’s tennis team suffered a series of setbacks this weekend as it lost all three of its matches at the ECAC Invitational in Cambridge, Mass. The women’s team had more success as it crushed rival Loyola of Baltimore seven points to zero.

The men, seeded 13th at the ECAC, opened the tournament Friday against the fourth seed, Princeton University. Despite losing eight of nine matches in singles and doubles play against the Tigers, Head Coach Rich Bausch said the team, “felt pretty good because we gave them a battle.” The lone win for the Hoyas came from freshman Eric Bildman, who defeated Princeton’s Brian Nachtigal by a score of 6-3, 6-3.

The Hoyas then faced their conference rival and the tournament’s 10th seed, Rutgers. Last season, the Hoyas dropped a narrow decision to Rutgers on the Scarlet Knights’ home courts and came into this match looking to make a statement and to build a foundation for making the 2002 Big East Tournament. However, the Hoyas struggled as they dropped all six singles matches, many in painstaking fashion, including three set losses by Bildman and junior Troy Crichlow.

Georgetown also lost two of the three doubles matches. The highlight of the day was the play of the freshmen doubles team of Bildman and Aaron Shumaker, who defeated the team of Kevin Bielen and Chris Kushner eight games to six in the eight-game pro-set. It was the first doubles win for the Hoyas over Rutgers in two years. Bausch said, “the freshmen played great, but this loss hurt and the team was pretty down. We had hoped to show we were beyond where we were last year.”

The Hoyas closed the weekend with another difficult loss against 15th-seeded Stony Brook. The two teams split the six singles matches but Stony Brook was able to win two of three doubles matches to take the victory and send the Hoyas home winless. Reflecting on the tournament, which was open only to the top 16 teams in the Eastern region, Bausch said, “From a standpoint of wins and losses, we didn’t show that we belonged among the top 16, but from the standpoint of effort and attitude, we definitely did.”

The Georgetown men’s team finished fifteenth overall at the 16-team tournament, which was held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

In contrast to the men’s struggles, the Hoya women rolled to an easy victory this weekend at Loyola to open their regular season schedule. Bausch said, “I know Loyola’s really solid. I thought they might pose problems for us because of our inexperience, but it didn’t look like we fell victim to their attempts to slow down the pace in many of the matches.” Freshman first singles player Liora Gelblum ran her record thus far this year to seven wins and zero losses as she dispatched Loyola’s Nancy Turnblacer 6-0, 6-1. Sophomore Lara Madonia capped off the win for the Hoyas as she battled to a hard fought 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) victory over Gina Turturiello.

Next up for the men’s squad is the Towson Invitational this weekend in Baltimore, Maryland. According to Bausch, “Only UMBC [the University of Maryland-Baltimore County] poses a challenge to us at this tournament. It’s a chance for us to recover some momentum.”

The retrievers have won four consecutive conference titles, three in the Northeast Conference and one in the Big South, and feature a potent attack that includes juniors Anita Pushpanathan and Jana Karaskora as well as senior Kathryn Wheatley. They have been bolstered by the addition of several key freshmen, including Tia Kaasalainen, Svetlana Khvalina and Aimee Lim.

The women received a surprise invitation to the ECAC Invitational this weekend in Princeton, N.J. The format for the women’s ECAC is the same as the men’s, as only the top 16 teams in the Eastern region receive an invitation. The Hoyas were the first alternate selected after the University of assachusetts-Amherst withdrew. Bausch said the women, much like men the past weekend, hope to show that they belong as one of the top 16 teams in the East.

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