Back from a spring trip to California, the Georgetown men’s (3-6) and women’s (7-3) tennis teams return to action this weekend with different goals in mind. While the women seek to build off a split of their four matches against top-notch competition, the men look to rebound from losing all three matches.
Looking to continue its strong start to the 2017 spring campaign, the women’s squad travelled to California for a four-match trip that included highlights such as beating previously undefeated UC San Diego (12-1) and a close 4-3 triumph over Utah State (9-5). In addition to the victories, Georgetown also lost to Long Beach State (10-2, 2-1 Big West) and Loyola Marymount (4-2).
Senior Victoire Saperstein and her fellow top-four singles cohorts shined in the win against UC San Diego. Following the tone-setting 2-1 doubles win, Saperstein triumphed in a three-set comeback, taking her No. 1 match 1-6, 6-3, 7-6. Junior Sara Swift prevailed in the No. 2 competition in two sets, 6-0, 7-6, while sophomore Cecilia Lynham clinched Georgetown’s victory with a 6-2, 6-2 straight set win.
The second Hoya victory — a 4-3 affair against Utah State — saw the Blue and Gray earn three points in the singles matches. Following a pair of victories in the No. 2 and No. 3 singles matches from sophomore Risa Nakagawa and junior Sara Swift, junior Drew Spinosa earned the Hoya’s third point with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. With each squad knotted up at three points apiece, the competition reached an unusual conclusion: The doubles match would decide the critical point.
Ultimately, the duo of senior Maggie Psyhogeos and sophomore Sydney Goodson cemented the Hoya victory with a 7-5 doubles win. Following the match, Georgetown Coach Gordie Ernst praised Psyhogeos, whose clutch play in her season debut contributed to the Hoyas’ victory.
“[In a] high-pressure situation, playing No. 2 doubles, she comes up with some great shots, and I couldn’t be prouder of her,” Ernst said.
Although the men’s team struggled in its trip out West, earning three out of 17 possible points, the Hoyas did well in an area that Ernst has emphasized all year: doubles competition. Facing UC Irvine (5-8), the Blue and Gray picked up their sole point in the doubles play of their 4-1 defeat.Junior Peter Beatty and senior Jordan Portner took their No. 1 match 7-6, while No. 3 doubles pair of sophomore Michael Chen and freshman Ian Witmer clinched the point in a 6-3 victory.
Following this doubles success, which Ernst referred to as a “moral victory,” Georgetown faced staunch competition in singles play as the UC Irvine lineup stole a 4-0 win. Although Loyola Marymount triumphed over Georgetown 4-2, Ernst believes the Hoyas were a few good breaks away from taking the victory.
“Loyola Marymount could have gone either way. We had already played Utah State in the morning so my guys were tired, but they responded, they fought,” Ernst said.
Capping off the trip to California, Georgetown battled Utah State, which completed a clean sweep, taking the competition 6-0. This weekend, both teams return to action as the women look to continue their strong season against Hofstra (4-9) on Sunday, and the men take on Xavier (3-9) on Friday at Yates Field House. Coach Ernst hopes for an effort reminiscent of that against the Musketeers a year ago.
“I’m just looking for what we did last year when we played Xavier at Yates. We played with great fire and energy; we were very competitive knowing that a higher seed is on the line when it gets down to the Big East Tournament,” Ernst said.
When identifying the key to the two teams’ success this weekend, Ernst noted a need for the men to bring more consistent focus and energy, which have been strengths for the women’s team this season.
“Every girl is laying it out on the line every match, win or lose, and the guys haven’t done that yet, but I know they can. And I’m hoping this’ll be the match they do it,” Ernst said.
The men’s squad takes on Xavier on Friday at Yates Field House at 11 a.m. before it takes on Hofstra on Sunday at 11 a.m. The women face against Hofstra on Sunday at 2 p.m.
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