Both the Georgetown University men’s and women’s tennis teams came out victorious over the Villanova Wildcats last weekend. Although neither Wildcat team has won a conference game this season, the victory was nonetheless an important confidence booster ahead of the upcoming Big East Tournament starting April 21.
Georgetown earned redemption against Villanova after both Hoya teams fell to the Temple University Owls the prior day. The men’s team (11-8, 4-2 Big East) lost 0-7 to the Owls (18-4, 1-0 AAC) before bouncing back to defeat the Wildcats (8-14, 0-6 Big East) 5-2. The women’s team (12-9, 5-3 Big East) dropped 2-5 against Temple (16-4) before downing Villanova (8-13, 0-6) 6-1.
The men’s team sustained an early blow April 14 as the Hoyas failed to pick up a single set in either the doubles or singles contests against Temple along the way to its commanding defeat.
The men’s team recovered April 15 to defeat Villanova. The contest was its 11th win of the season and it ended the Hoyas’ two-game losing streak. After Georgetown fell to Villanova in two of its three doubles matches to lose the doubles point, the Hoyas made quick work of Villanova in the singles matches. Only one of six singles matches went to three sets, with Georgetown sophomore Burke Pablo taking the rubber set over Ryan Nguyen with a fierce tie breaker. No other Hoyas lost a set, and first-year Arthur O’Sullivan dominated his opponent, Cooper Gordon, winning all six games in each set.
Against Temple, the Georgetown women’s team took an early lead. In a spectacular effort, the duo of senior Chloe Bendetti and sophomore McHaley Ho prevailed 6-4 over No. 8 Owl pair Maiko Uchijima and Jamie Wei. First-years Paige Gilbert and Ashley Kennedy also defeated their Temple counterparts Thamara Frasser Kawaratani and Sena Takebe 7-5 to seal the doubles point as the Hoya pair of senior Olivia Ashton and junior Morgan Coburn fell 1-6 to Temple’s Evie Wei and Veronika Kulhava.
The team enjoyed less success against Temple in the singles. Kennedy was the lone Hoya to win her back-and-forth contest, defeating Temple’s Takebe 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5).
Against the Wildcats, the women’s team proved just as dominant as the men’s team in its 12th win of the season to snap a three-game losing streak. The doubles lineup of Gilbert with Kennedy and Ashton with Coburn proved too much for the Wildcats, and the Hoyas clinched the doubles point. Georgetown then grabbed all but one singles point — Coburn was unable to complete her match due to injury and had to forfeit the point to Villanova’s Caitlin Fisher.
Benedetti and Ho earned Big East Doubles Team of the Week honors for their performance against Temple and Villanova.
“I am so proud of McHaley and Chloe,” Head Coach Freddy Mesmer told Georgetown Athletics in an April 17 press release. “They have been working so hard in practice to hone in on their doubles game and it is finally paying off. They were close to a solid ranked win last weekend on senior day but came up just short. The Temple pair was ranked eighth in the country and that shows that our team is not far off from some of the top teams in the country.”
The Hoyas will now turn their focus to the Big East Tournament in Cayce, S.C., from April 20-23. The women’s team, seeded at No. 5, will receive a first-round bye and is slated to face No. 4 seed St John’s (12-8, 5-2 Big East) in the quarterfinals on April 21 at 12:45 p.m. The matchup will be a repeat of a March 26 clash that saw the Red Storm edge out the Hoyas 4-3. The men’s team, seeded at No. 3, will face No. 6 seed Xavier (12-8, 2-3 Big East) in the quarterfinals on April 21 at 4:30 p.m. The Hoyas have not faced the Musketeers this season.
Georgetown’s teams will look to improve on their results last year, as Georgetown teams lost both of their quarterfinal contests at the tournament.
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