In the team’s first of two matches at home, the men’s tennis team (3-2, 0-2 Big East) fell to DePaul (8-3, 3-0 Big East) this past Friday, losing 7-0 to a Big East rival on the Hoyas’ home courts at Yates.
Nonetheless, the match was much closer than the 7-0 score makes it seem. Both of the doubles matches were tight, concluding in 8-6 and 8-5 finishes for first doubles and third doubles, respectively.
“It was just heartbreaking because we played so, so well,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “The whole team played a great match. I’m definitely proud of them, but you give credit to DePaul, they handled everything we threw at them.”
After falling to St. John’s (4-5, 1-0 Big East) in its first conference contest back in February, Georgetown hoped to boost its overall Big East record with a home victory over DePaul in Yates Field House. However, DePaul triumphed down the stretch, beating the Hoyas in both doubles and singles play.
Senior Alex Tropiano and sophomore Jordan Portner competed at first doubles, while senior John Brosens and freshman Mac Rechan played in the third doubles spot. Sophomore Jack Murphy and junior Daniel Khanin played at second doubles, but their match went unfinished because DePaul already had won the majority of the doubles matches.
“That’s a really close doubles score and probably could have gone either way, so it could have set the tone for the rest of the match,” Tropiano said. “As far as how we started in singles, I think we started really well. … I think if we could have taken a couple more first sets in those first few matches it could have turned around.”
Three of the singles matches went into three sets and the remaining contests were similarly close ones. Khanin fell at first singles to DePaul senior David Vieyra 2-6, 6-0, 6-4. Freshman Marco Lam competed in the second singles slot for the Hoyas, falling to DePaul junior Sten Leusink in a 7-5, 6-4 result. Senior Shane Korber’s third singles match was close as well, though he also fell in straights in a 6-4, 7-6 (11-9) finish.
Freshman Peter Beatty’s fourth single match against freshman Alex Galoustian went into three sets, concluding in a 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 finish. Graduate student Andrew Dottino lost 7-6 (4-2), 7-5.
“It was just one of those things that’s crazy,” Ernst said. “We lose 7-0, yet I figure that maybe six or seven points decided that match. Usually you lose 4-3 and then you can say ‘Oh it was just a few points,’ but it was actually just a few points here and we lost 7-0. DePaul just won all the big points, so I give them credit.”
Tropiano’s sixth singles match was a true three-set battle. DePaul junior Jan-Willem Feilzer took the first set 7-5, but Tropiano quickly took the second 6-3. The third set went into a tiebreaker, but ultimately Tropiano fell to Feilzer 14-12.
“[Feilzer] was good, he was very solid,” Tropiano said. “I think there was a different feel to it because the match was already over, but we were still both trying to win obviously. He was good; I don’t think I did too much wrong, other than maybe getting a little tight at the end, but it’s all a learning experience.”
Though the sweep may look disappointing on paper, the match’s closeness exhibited a strong competitive nature.
“My guys competed,” Ernst stated. “[They] competed harder than I’ve seen in years, as a whole team. That’s what I’m so proud of. They played fearless, they didn’t get intimidated. … The overall attitude and competitiveness of the team was what I was most proud of.”
The team may only get one match at Yates per season, and because the old courts are no longer available for use, this match worked as the Hoyas’ “Senior Day” for its spring 2015 season. Seniors Tropiano, Brosens, Korber and Dottino all celebrated their last match on Georgetown’s campus.
“[Coach Ernst] tried to get all the seniors to play in that match because that’s the closet thing to a home match for us,” Tropiano said. “That played a part in trying to get everyone involved.”