Opening the season in Richmond, Va., the Georgetown men’s tennis team struggled to keep up the pace against a strong Virginia Commonwealth University team, with the Hoyas losing to the Rams by a score of 7-0.
The match began with Georgetown (0-1) and VCU (3-0) competing in three doubles matches. Junior Ian Witmer and freshman Andrew Rozanov only managed to secure one set against the Rams and dropped the first match by a score of 1-6. Sophomores Connor Lee and Luke Ross secured the second match for the Hoyas, winning in a tiebreaker before senior Michael Chen and sophomore Charlie Sharton lost the third doubles match in a tiebreaker. Winning two of three doubles matches, the VCU Rams earned the doubles point.
The singles matches provided the Hoyas an opportunity to comeback, but the team dropped all six matches, four of which the Rams won in straight sets. Freshman Carlos Grande, Rozanov and Ross all failed to win more than three games in any set. Sharton lost a close first set with a score of 5-7 before dropping the second set 0-6.
The top of Georgetown’s order fared slightly better against their VCU opponents. At the number one spot on the team, Lee lost a three-set match to VCU’s number one, Stefan Petrovic. Lee dropped the first set in a close 5-7 but fought back to win the second set 6-3. However, following his second-set win, Lee struggled to maintain his momentum, losing the third set 6-2.
Occupying the number two spot for the Hoyas, Chen lost a three-set match against VCU’s number two Rayane Stable. Chen secured the early lead in his match, taking his first set 6-4. After dropping his second set 4-6, Chen lost an excruciatingly long third set 10-12. The set was marked by Chen’s dominant service games.
Despite Chen’s tough loss, Chen’s and Lee’s playing remained bright spots for the Hoyas. In addition to their singles matches, both players played close doubles matches that were forced into tiebreakers.
The Hoyas’ weak performance in the season opener could be due to lack of game competition compared to their VCU counterparts. VCU came into the match with more in-game experience this spring season, as the Rams’ match against the Hoyas marks their third victory already.
The Hoyas will look to rely on Chen and Lee at the top of the order and receive more support from the remaining players when they travel to Marquette to take on the Golden Eagles (0-1, 0-0 Big East) on Friday. Both teams will look to rebound from season-opening losses in what will be both of the teams’ first conference matchup of the season.