After two straight weekends on the road, the men’s tennis team fell to the Monmouth Hawks 4-3 on Saturday in a high-intensity affair at Yates Field House, while the women prevailed in a comeback to take the match over the Massachusetts Minutewomen 4-3 Friday afternoon.
The women’s team (2-1) won despite a rocky start, with senior Victoire Saperstein securing the win with a 7-6 victory in the third set of the number one singles match.
“That was one for the ages,” Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “Those are the matches that keep you coming back for more. If you lose those, you go into a serious state of a depression. When you win them, it keeps you coming back the next day.”
The Hoyas began the match by losing the doubles point as the Minutewomen took the number two and three matches to begin the match on the right foot. The combination of junior Drew Spinosa and sophomore Cecilia Lynham fell 6-0 in the third doubles slot, while sophomore-senior duo Sophia Barnard and Sydney Goodson lost 7-5 at number two doubles.
Following the unpromising beginning, the Blue and Gray had to battle in the singles matches, and the back of the Hoyas’ lineup was up to the task. Goodson, Lynham and Spinosa all avenged their doubles’ losses with singles victories in the fourth, fifth and sixth singles slots, respectively.
Spinosa, a transfer from the University of San Diego, continued her successful Georgetown start on Friday with a 6-1, 6-4 victory. Additionally, Lynham dominated in a 6-1, 6-1 takedown of her Massachusetts opponent, and Goodson triumphed by a tally of 6-3, 6-1, in the fourth singles match. With that trio of victories, the Hoyas needed only one more singles win to claim the necessary four points.
Ultimately, with both teams tied at three points apiece, the deciding match was at the number one singles position, featuring senior Victoire Saperstein. After splitting the first two sets, the victory-clinching match was finally decided in the third set by a tight 7-6 score.
As one of the few seniors on the team, Saperstein has fulfilled the role as a leader and uses her experience to her advantage.
“No one doubts Victoire in those situations because she’s so experienced, and she also wants to do that for the team,” Ernst said. “There are a lot of kids who want to do it for themselves, but she really puts the whole team up on her shoulders and says,
‘I want to get this victory for the Hoyas.’”
The next day, the Georgetown men’s team (2-3) battled the Monmouth Hawks at Yates Fieldhouse in the Hoyas’ first on-campus match of the season. For the second straight match, the Hoyas began the day with a point in the doubles competition.
The underclassman duo of sophomore Michael Chen and freshman Ian Witmer took the No. 2 doubles affair 6-1, while junior Marco Lam and senior Yannik Mahlangu were victorious by the same score.
The promising beginning did not accurately foreshadow the Blue and Gray’s singles play.
“Monmouth came out during singles so inspired; they did the right thing. They lost the doubles point and it made them more fired up to try to beat us. So, I don’t think our guys realized how good they were because they did not play good doubles,” Ernst said.
The back end of the lineup provided the pair of Georgetown wins in singles competition, as junior Mac Rechan prevailed in a three-set comeback 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 in the No. 5 match, while Mahlangu continued his successful day with a straight set 6-2, 6-4 triumph.
However, Chen lost in a pair of tight sets, 7-6, 7-6 in the No. 3 match, and No. 1 Marco Lam fell to his Monmouth counterpart, 6-2, 6-2, to seal the loss for the Hoyas.
Ernst voiced his displeasure in his team’s effort, especially considering the match was played at home.
“We practice there; there should be no adjustment at that end at all. In fact, we’re supposed to have home court advantage, and I’m a little disappointed in a few of our guys that did not play to their ability at all. Just as I mentioned Victoire stepping up in big moments, we need our share of upperclassmen to do the same,” Ernst said.
The Hoyas are back in action March 5, as both teams take on UC San Diego during the teams’ spring break trip.
Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.