In its last match during March, the Georgetown men’s tennis team (6-5, 0-2 Big East) defeated Johns Hopkins (4-5) in a 5-2 result.
“It was good, we competed hard, we really out-competed them. We did what other teams do to us sometimes, and I’m proud of the boys,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said.
During the match, the men’s team demonstrated impressive performances in both singles and doubles play. Despite the cold conditions, the Hoyas won four out of the five singles matches, while also winning a doubles match.
Junior Daniel Khanin notched a close win in the first singles slot, defeating Blue Jay sophomore Jeremy Dubin in a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) decision. Freshman Marco Lam defeated his opponent in a 6-1, 6-4 rout in the second singles slot, while senior Alex Tropiano also won in a 6-4, 6-2 result. Sophomore Jack Murphy rounded out the singles wins with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Blue Jay sophomore Jacob Mackenzie.
Murphy, while impressive in singles play, has sometimes struggled over the course of his second season on the squad.
“We expect a lot out of Murphy, he’s a very talented kid, he’s just been up and down mentally,” Ernst explained. “He hasn’t been able to play [with] that mental toughness every match and [with] that competitiveness, and that’s what his game is, so he understands that he needs to be competing his butt off every match, that’s who he is and he’s getting the old mojo back.”
Freshman Peter Beatty fell in singles play in the third singles slot, losing to John Hopkins senior Noah Joachim. Beatty dropped the first set 6-4, but notched the second by winning a 7-5 tiebreaker. Because of the cold conditions, the teams played 10-point tiebreakers instead of third sets.
Beatty eventually lost the tiebreaker 10-5.
“He just didn’t play as well as he could play,” Ernst said of Beatty’s match. “[Joachim] was just kind of just absorbing Peter’s pace, just being a backboard. It got to Peter a little bit; he became a little flustered, it threw him off, and next thing you know, he lost the match.”
Doubles went well for Georgetown, although the tiebreaker system hurt sophomore Jordan Portner and senior John Brosens’ chances. The duo lost their first set 6-3 but regained control and took the second set with an equivalent score. However, the tiebreak format was an obstacle to their momentum, and they fell 10-8 in the tiebreak.
Graduate student Andrew Dottino and freshman Mac Rechan were in the same situation as Portner and Brosens, but they earned a victory by winning the tiebreaker 10-5.
“Jordan and John lost the first set and turned it around and began controlling the match, and it was a very cold day … had we played a full set they would have won, no question about it,” Ernst said. “We had the momentum, we should have played better. Same with Andy and Mac Rechan, they were in control the whole way; they lost a set and were able to regroup and then win the tiebreak.”
Georgetown will take on Morgan State (1-8) on April 2. The Hoyas swept the Bears in the teams’ last meeting in March 2013. The Georgetown women’s tennis team will travel alongside the men’s to Baltimore and will take on the Morgan State women’s squad (3-11) on the same day.
Following the Morgan State match, the men’s team will prepare to take on Richmond (10-5) on April 7. Since the Hoyas edged over the Spiders last season in a 4-3 result, Ernst knows that the upcoming match will be a battle.
“The year before, we beat [the Spiders] 4-3, and they haven’t beaten us since I’ve been here as a coach,” Ernst said. “They’re going to come up here looking for a win; it’s going to be a great match.”
The men’s and women’s teams will go up against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on April 11, and both matchups have the potential to be close matches. The Georgetown men’s team lost to UMBC (8-5) 4-3 last year, while the women’s team beat UMBC (4-11) in a 4-3 result.
The women, coming off a tough 4-3 loss to Richmond, are prepped to regain momentum heading into the end of their season.
“My girls are going to respond to that Richmond match, they want to play,” Ernst said. “They’re ready to go. That left a bad taste in their mouth.”