On the heels of two road victories for the Georgetown tennis program, the men’s (1-1) and women’s (1-0) tennis teams will travel to Boston to compete against Boston College (0-2) and Harvard (0-4).
The road matches against the Massachusetts squads come after both teams were victorious against Drexel in Philadelphia. After defeating Drexel (3-1) 5-2 last Friday, the men’s team fell to Pennsylvania (3-1) in a 6-1 result the next morning. The women’s team defeated Drexel (3-1) in a sweeping 7-0 finish.
Senior Victoire Saperstein, junior Sara Swift, sophomores Risa Nakagawa, Sydney Goodson and Cecilia Lynham, and junior Drew Spinosa all pulled off impressive singles victories. Swift’s match was the closest of the six, as she fell in the first set 3-6. However, she took the second set 7-5, and went on to win in a 10-point tie-break with a 10-7 final score. The pairs of Swift and Goodson as well as Lynham and Spinosa notched doubles victories.
Harvard has struggled with a slate of challenging teams in the beginning of its season. Harvard fell to Northwestern (4-1) in a 6-1 result Jan. 21, while it lost to top Big East team DePaul (2-2) in a 5-2 loss the next day. At the ITA Kick Off Weekend, the Crimson fell to Alabama (4-2) and Florida State (2-1).
“Harvard is one of the greatest college tennis programs in the last 30 years,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “They’ve struggled lately, but if you look at the last 30-40 years, Harvard is up there with the UCLA and Stanford in terms of their success. My girls, same thing recruiting-wise, a lot of kids looked to Harvard, Princeton, Yale first so there will definitely be some fire in that match.”
Boston College is currently on an early season slide with its winless record. It most recently fell to Brown on Jan. 29 in a 5-2 finish. However, the match should remain competitive due to Georgetown’s history with BC. The last time Georgetown competed against Boston College was in January 2014 when the Hoyas edged the Eagles 4-3 on their home court in Washington, D.C.
The remaining players on Georgetown’s roster who competed in that match are seniors Yannik Mahlangu and Jack Murphy. Current senior Jordan Portner did not play in said match against the Eagles, and senior Geoffrey Fosso transferred to Georgetown his junior year.
“With BC, the last two times we’ve beaten them and it’s very, very tight,” Ernst said. “We recruit against each other, they’re the same sort of non-scholarship, good school, good city program … there’s a little overlap there even though we’re in different conferences which makes it fun. We always recruit the same guys.”
One of the key issues that the Georgetown men’s team has turned its attention toward is doubles play. The doubles matches precede singles play, and often set the tone and momentum for the rest of the match. Without winning the doubles point to start, the losing team must win four out of the six singles matches to win the entire match.
“Doubles points will be key to our success on the men’s side this year,” Ernst said. “[There’s] so much depth that it makes it hard to win 4 out of 6 singles matches.”
Georgetown has kicked off its spring campaign with a host of road matches. Even though the distance adds additional hours to Georgetown’s travel time to matches, Ernst explained that there are some positives associated with road matches.
“Sometimes it’s good to get away from distractions, get more sleep and focus,” Ernst said.
Following Georgetown’s matches this weekend in the Boston area, the Hoyas will begin play closer to home. The men’s side will compete against Morgan State (1-4) in Arlington on Feb. 8 and Monmouth (0-3) in Washington on Feb. 11. The women’s team’s next four matches will all be in the D.C. area against Massachusetts (2-0), Temple (3-2), Morgan State (0-3) and George
The men’s team plays against Boston College at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the women’s team competes against Harvard at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
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