The Georgetown tennis team is receiving national attention, but Head Coach Gordie Ernst has never had a program-changing recruiting class – until this year.
On the women’s side, Ernst brought in five freshmen. The highlight of the class is Canadian recruit Victoria Sekely, an Ontario native, who currently plays in the No. 1 spot for the women’s team. Sekely is just a year removed from winning the girl’s national championship in Canada.
“College tennis is very different because it’s more of a team atmosphere. My team is so supportive, and it’s so rewarding because there’s more to play for – it’s truly motivating,” Sekely said.
Coupled with sophomore transfer Lauren Greco, Sekely has provided a formidable 1-2 punch for the Hoyas.
“Freshman or sophomore, whatever, it’s still tennis, and the people who have had the experience of competitive play, at a high level, are going to do well,” Ernst said. “Vicky has had plenty of experience. It may say she’s a freshman, but competitively, she’s had plenty of experience.”
On the men’s side, Georgetown brought in just one recruit. Charlie Caris, featured in Sports
Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd earlier this year, came to the Hilltop from Iowa and has changed the face of the men’s team, giving them the piece they have been lacking.
Despite the success Caris has realized early on, the team aspect remains a crucial part of the program’s success, especially with his limited experience in Big East play.
“The effect the seniors on this team have had, on both my game and my Georgetown experience, can’t be understated,” he said. “As opposed to simply being leaders by example, the seniors here really are committed to winning. They’ve done a great job of uniting the team, making it easier for me to handle the transition to collegiate tennis.”
The three-time Iowa state champion turned heads with his 14-game winning streak during the fall.
“What it comes down to is depth,” he said. “Iowa has some good players at the top, but it drops off very quickly. Georgetown has a lot more players at the same level, which has helped me to diversify and improve my game.”
Ernst is pleased with the performance of the newest Hoyas, especially their work ethic.
“We have plenty of kids that come through this program, and tennis is fifth on their priority list,” he said. “With Charlie and Vicky, it’s right below their studies. . That’s why they’re having the success they are at such an early stage. They live tennis.”
As the Hoyas move forward in their spring season, their young talent will be something to keep tabs on.”