The Georgetown men’s tennis team completed a busy weekend in which it played three matches in three days, dropping two matches and winning one, while the women’s team fell in its conference opener.
On Friday, the men’s team traveled to Flushing, N.Y., to compete against St. John’s (8-12, 1-0 Big East). The Hoyas (4-9, 0-2 Big East) lost by a score of 4-0, losing the doubles point and the first three singles matches. The remaining three matches — two of which were close — went unfinished.
“The guys were just outgunned. St. John’s had some real weapons in their lineup, and they just were a little too big for us,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said.
After its loss to St. John’s, Georgetown continued its recent slide with a loss to Marist (8-2, 1-0 MAAC) on Saturday. The Blue and Gray lost 5-0, as the team once again failed to capture a point in the match. The team’s loss to Marist marked its sixth consecutive defeat, as the men have struggled to find consistent production for much of the season.
“We have a real confidence issue with our guys. They get out there, and they start doubting themselves. They start playing as the favorites, but we’re the underdogs. They need to release the pressure and stop acting so afraid out there,” Ernst said.
However, the Hoyas ended their six-game skid against Bates College (1-7, 1-1 NESCAC) the following day. Against Bates, Georgetown grabbed the doubles point early and never looked back. The Hoyas won five out of the six singles matches, including several straight-set wins. Senior Yannik Mahlangu, junior Mac Rechan and sophomore Will Sharton cruised to comfortable, straight-set victories in the No. 3, 4 and 5 positions, respectively. Junior Bart Panarese, playing at the No. 6 position, lost the first set 4-6 but picked up a victory after his opponent retired early in the second set.
Although not a conference match, Ernst stressed the importance of the Bates win as a moral victory for the team. Prior to Sunday’s match, the Hoyas had not won a match since March 5.
“Winning takes care of everything,” Ernst said. “If you’re winning two, three, four matches in a row, all of a sudden it changes your confidence level. I’m not giving up on these guys; there’s still hope here for the rest of the season. It’s just that we’re running out of time. Now is the time.”
Georgetown looks to build upon its most recent victory when the team takes on the George Mason Patriots (7-6, 1-2 Atlantic 10) on Thursday, March 30 at 2 p.m.
The Georgetown women’s tennis team (8-4, 0-1 Big East) visited St. John’s (12-3, 4-0 Big East) on Friday, losing 4-3 in its first conference game of the season.
St. John’s got off to a strong start by sweeping the doubles matches. The Red Storm’s Jessica Livianu — who is ranked number 67 in the Oracle/ITA women’s singles rankings — defeated the Hoyas’ No. 1 player, senior Victoire Saperstein, 6-0, 6-4. After junior Sara Swift defeated the St. John’s No. 3 player 6-0, 6-2, Georgetown lost the number two and number five matches, which clinched the victory for St. John’s.
Although St. John’s had already emerged victorious, Georgetown took the remaining two singles matches in very tight, competitive matches. After dropping the first set 7-6, sophomore Cecilia Lynham won the second set 6-1, setting up a third-set tiebreaker. Lynham emerged victorious in a tightly fought tiebreaker, defeating her opponent 10-8.
Similarly, junior Drew Spinosa dropped the first set in her match but responded with a 6-3 victory in the second set. Spinosa then won the third set tiebreaker 10-6. Lynham and Spinosa’s strong play against St. John’s is indicative of their successful seasons so far.
Despite both the men’s and women’s struggles against St. John’s this past weekend, Ernst remained confident for the remainder of Big East play.
“It’s just the same thing with St. John’s. It’s just a couple of points every time we play them, but we’re not letting down. We’re fired up. And we’re looking forward to the Big East if we have to play them again,” Ernst said.
The results for the women’s match against George Mason (9-6, 0-3 A10) were not available as of press time.
The women next travel to take on Towson (7-5 1-1, CAA) on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The men’s upcoming match is this Saturday at home against the Naval Academy (15-16, 1-1 Patriot League).
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