Finishing off regular-season play against cross-town rival George Washington (10-12, 1-2 Atlantic 10) on Sunday, the Georgetown men’s tennis team (8-9, Big East 1-2) fell in a 6-1 result at Georgetown Visitation Prep.
“Today, we were a little outgunned,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “However, it was tight. [Freshman] Peter Beatty won his match in three sets, and [junior] Danny Khanin lost in three sets. [Senior] Alex Tropiano lost in three sets, so it’s so close.”
While the Georgetown women’s team (11-4, 2-1 Big East) took on George Washington (5-12, 1-4 Atlantic 10) earlier this season, the men’s team has not faced GW since last season. This year, Georgetown only managed to win one singles match, courtesy of Beatty, but dropped the remaining singles matches and also lost the doubles point. Despite the seemingly disappointing result, Ernst was happy about his team’s play.
“I liked a lot of the hustle and the fight and the real commitment to play every point,” Ernst said. “The competitive spirit was there. Like I said, we didn’t get the win this week, but we played two good teams, and it’ll really help us to get ready for Big East.”
Tight matches on the doubles side highlighted the beginning of the day, as two of the contests concluded in close 8-6 results. Beatty and senior John Brosens won 8-6 at first doubles against the Colonial duo of senior Francisco Dias and freshman Chris Fletcher, while freshman Marco Lam and sophomore Jack Murphy lost in an equivalent score. Graduate student Andrew Dottino and sophomore Jordan Portner fell 8-3 in the second doubles slot, handing the doubles point to GW.
The Colonials dominated singles play, taking five of the six matches from the Hoyas. Junior Daniel Khanin lost at first singles to Dias in a 1-6, 6-4, 2-6 result. That win cemented the Portugal native as the new all-time career singles wins leader for George Washington.
Lam lost at second singles in a 6-2, 6-2 finish to junior Danil Zelenkov, while senior Alex Tropiano was downed in a three-set match concluding in a 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 result. Murphy lost in straight sets at the fourth singles position 6-1, 6-4. Meanwhile, freshman Mac Rechan kept things close in his first set, eventually losing 7-6, but fell in the second 6-0 to round out the Hoya losses in singles play.
Beatty won the only singles match of the day for the Hoyas against Colonial freshman Chris Reynolds in a tight 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 battle.
“It was a tough match. GW is probably one of the best teams we’ve played all year, and [Reynolds] was a tough opponent,” Beatty said. “As long as I kept pressure on him I would win points, and I could just grind him down and he would miss, or I would get a good opportunity.”
Georgetown has gained valuable experience over the course of the past week as it prepares for the Big East tournament. The Hoyas fell to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers (12-6, 1-0 America East) in a 5-2 result on April 14, but according to Ernst, their performance in that match still deserves praise.
“We had our chances — this last week for whatever reason the guys have really started to come together and play,” Ernst said. “At UMBC the other day, it was just a handful of points; we really should have won the match. Alex Tropiano was up a set 4-1, Andy Dottino had some set points, Mac Rechan was up 5-2 in his first set. We were in a position to win.”
Georgetown has not won the doubles point in its last four outings, which has had a significant impact on its play. Because of this, Ernst sees remedying flaws in the Hoyas’ doubles game as the key factor in preparing for the Big East tournament this upcoming weekend.
“I think our doubles still needs to get better,” Ernst said. “We still make too many mistakes in doubles, and when we get really down to the wire — 4-all or 5-all — we always give away a point or two instead of being mentally tough at that point. I think that we have to play fearless tennis.”
Beatty echoed his coach’s sentiments.
“The doubles point is really huge. It’s only one point technically, but it really sets the tone for the whole match, and in the last few matches we’ve lost the doubles point, and it’s a long way to get back from losing that point. The momentum that it adds to the match is absolutely huge,” Beatty said.
Tough competition awaits the Hoyas at the Big East tournament, in which they are seeded sixth. The Hoyas hope to rebound from their last three losses at the tournament this upcoming weekend, which will begin Thursday and conclude Sunday.