FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE XU/THE HOYA Senior co-captain Shane Korber won his singles match 6-0, 6-1 against St. Josephs at the Penn Invitational tournament.
Senior co-captain Shane Korber won his singles match 6-0, 6-1 against St. Josephs at the Penn Invitational tournament.

The Georgetown men’s tennis team impressed at the Penn Invitational this past weekend, utilizing squad depth to win three of its four matches during the three-day tournament.

On Friday, Georgetown defeated St. Joseph’s University 4-2 in a match composed of two doubles matches and four singles matches. Sophomore Jordan Portner and freshman Marco Lam fell in their doubles match 8-6, but Georgetown’s other pair — senior John Brosens and sophomore Jack Murphy — won 8-5. Besides senior co-captain Alex Tropiano’s loss at second-seeded singles in a tight three-set competition, Georgetown triumphed in the remainder of singles play against the Hawks. Senior co-captain Shane Korber dominated in the third singles slot with a resounding 6-0, 6-1 win. Junior Daniel Khanin notched a solid victory in first-seeded singles with a 6-3, 6-3 scoreline, while sophomore Yannik Mahlangu won at fourth-seeded singles.

Georgetown went 1-1 Friday as it followed their victory over St. Joseph’s with a loss to Cornell. Though the Big Red handed the Hoyas a loss, Head Coach Gordie Ernst saw the Cornell match as the more encouraging matchup of the tournament.

“The match that I felt was the most significant was the Cornell match because they’ve been a nationally ranked team the past couple years and [are] right in the middle of the Ivy League, and we just went toe-to-toe with them the whole way,” Ernst said.

Freshman Peter Beatty and Murphy both were neck-and-neck with their Cornell counterparts. Murphy won the first set and mounted a 4-1 lead in the second, but ended up losing the second set. With the scored tied at 4-4 in the deciding third set, the match slipped away from Murphy. Though Beatty competed strongly with a veteran Cornell player, he also fell at singles.

“He got a little tight, and the experience paid off for the Cornell guy,” Ernst said of Beatty’s play.

The next day, Georgetown lost only two matches in a 10-2 rout of the Temple Owls. The Hoyas only suffered two defeats: Korber’s straight-set loss at fifth singles and Khanin and Lam’s doubles loss. Though Khanin lost at doubles, his singles victory signified a strong rebound from the Cornell match.

“Danny bounced back and beat Temple’s number one player 6-0, 6-0, so we had a lot of good results, not just the freshmen this weekend,” Ernst said.

Beatty and Lam had impressed in last weekend’s Georgetown Classic and matches against the University of D.C., and that progress only continued at the Penn Invitational.

“They were playing like veterans out there in terms of their competitive fire, and I’m just really proud of them,” Ernst said. “They were competing as hard as anyone would compete for me in years and that’s the most important thing.”

Georgetown competed with Lehigh on the final day of the tournament and won 7-5. The Hoyas won three out of their four doubles matches courtesy of pairs Tropiano and Beatty, Khanin and Lam and Murphy and Portner. Lam, Mahlangu, Brosens and Portner won their singles matches against the Mountain Hawks.

The large size of the Penn Invitational enabled almost all of the Georgetown men’s tennis team to compete, which exhibited the Hoyas’ depth.

“The thing that really stuck out to me is how deep we are and how many guys we have this year who can really go at any time. I think that’s going to help us as we get into the meat of the season,” Ernst said.

Although the Hoyas competed well at the tournament, adjustments still need to be made to ensure repeated success.

“We still have plenty of work to do. The big thing right now is those critical points,” Ernst said. “We still have to get to the point where we’re playing the big points well and we’re not there yet, and that just means we need more experience.”

The Georgetown men’s tennis team will travel to Charlottesville, Va., for the ITA Regionals on Oct. 16, while the women’s tennis team, which did not compete over the weekend, will travel to Blacksburg, Va. for their ITA Regionals on the same day.

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