FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA Sophomore Victoire Saperstein beat Campbell freshman Georgina Segarra 6-4, 6-1 in the top singles spot at the VCU 4-1 Invitational. Saperstein will look to help the Hoyas earn another victory against James Madison this Saturday.
FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
Sophomore Victoire Saperstein beat Campbell freshman Georgina Segarra 6-4, 6-1 in the top singles spot at the VCU 4-1 Invitational. Saperstein will look to help the Hoyas earn another victory against James Madison this Saturday.

After a successful weekend debut at the 4-1 Invitational Match, the Georgetown women’s tennis team (2-1) will now make the short trip to Alexandria, Va. to battle James Madison (2-0) this Saturday.

Last weekend, Georgetown’s three matches each told very different stories. The first contest — resulting in a sweep of Georgetown courtesy of Virginia Commonwealth — tested the Hoyas. However, the loss propelled Georgetown into its second and significantly more successful match of the day — a 4-0 rout of Norfolk State. The next day, Georgetown played its most competitive match of the weekend against Campbell. Edging over the Camels 3-2, the combination of strong singles performances and admirable doubles play proved integral to the win.

Georgetown hopes to carry that momentum over to Alexandria. The Hoyas are 1-2 in the past 3 years against the Dukes. In individual matches, Georgetown leads James Madison 11-10.

“I think we’re still flying high from last weekend, so hopefully we can transfer that on to this oncoming match,” sophomore Victoire Saperstein said.

The weekend contest will consist of the typical format of six singles matches and three doubles matches. The team that wins the majority of the doubles matches will earn a point, and each singles victory will also count for a point. Though Georgetown and James Madison split singles matches evenly last year, the Dukes’ doubles sweep lifted them over the Hoyas.

“They’re just going to be a solid team,” Saperstein said. “Singles, doubles, they’re going to be good competitors; hopefully we start off and get that first doubles point from the beginning to just start out strong, and then hopefully win three singles.”

As has been the case this entire season, the Blue and Gray will depend on the experience and consistency of their veterans. Saperstein, sophomore Sophia Barnard and senior captain Sophie Panarese all competed well at the 4-1 Invitational Match. Saperstein is eager to continue that win streak.

“You just have to work through things, and I’m excited for this weekend; I think I beat the girl I played last year,” Saperstein explained. “I think I’m playing the same girl so I’m excited to see how the match-up is.”

With only one senior, the youth of Georgetown’s squad stands out this year as one of its defining characteristics. While the freshmen are beginning to ease into collegiate tennis, they are still adjusting to the high level of competition and intensity. Freshmen Casey Marx and Daphne de Chatellus started in the 4-1 Invitational Match last weekend, and will likely do the same against James Madison on Saturday.

“I think the freshmen had some tougher matches last weekend, and I think that was good for them,” Saperstein said. “The season is hard, it’s challenging, so I think straight from the beginning they’re learning the challenges and I think from then on it’s just going to help them throughout the season, so I’m excited. I’m excited to see what our freshmen can do.”
While the Hoyas are optimistic about their chances against the Dukes, James Madison enters the match on a hot streak. The Dukes recently routed Towson 5-2 on Jan. 24 and then swept Navy 7-0 the following day.

“They’re always a strong competitor,” Saperstein said. “We were ready for the fight; I remember last year definitely wanting to be prepared. We ended up losing, but it was a tight match. This year I think we’re ready to come back and fight.”
Saturday’s match will again test the valor of Georgetown’s young squad. Match play begins Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Belle Haven Country Club in Alexandria, Va.

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