The team format of collegiate tennis often lends itself to close competitions that can be determined by slim margins within individual matches. This weekend, Georgetown’s tennis teams were on both sides of that spectrum, earning a mixed series of results.
The Georgetown men’s tennis team (5-5, 0-2 Big East) split its two matches this weekend, earning a win against Temple (9-8, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) and a loss to a squad composed of athletes from Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College (12-1, 1-0 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), while the women’s tennis team (8-3, 1-1 Big East) fell to the University of Pennsylvania (7-4) in a close match.
The men’s squad started out the weekend strong, downing Temple in an away match with a final result of 4-2. Though the Hoyas won two more overall matches than the Owls, most of the singles matches went down to the wire.
Freshman Peter Beatty took his first set against Temple junior Hicham Belkssir 6-4, but fell in the second set 1-6. Forced to play a 10-point tiebreak to determine the match, Beatty came out on top with a tiebreak score of 10-4.
“It was tight, and I think it was closer than what the score line indicates,” Beatty said. “[Senior Alex Tropiano] came up really big at fourth singles and also the one doubles match we played came up huge. I think if we don’t win those matches and if we don’t win those really close tiebreakers, we wouldn’t have won that match, so that was a big deal.”
Like Beatty’s, Tropiano’s match also was a tough three-set battle. After dropping the first set 3-6, Tropiano came back to win the second set 6-3. The ensuing 10-point tiebreak was an incredibly close one, concluding with Tropiano’s victory after an 11-9 tiebreak score.
“Peter and Alex definitely won very close matches that could have gone either way,” junior Daniel Khanin said of the two singles matches. “They were able to stay calm and not let the pressure get to them.”
Freshman Marco Lam fell in the second singles slot 6-2, 6-4, while graduate student Andrew Dottino lost his match in a close 7-6, 7-5, 6-4 contest. Junior John Brosens and sophomore Jordan Portner paired up to play doubles against Temple, barely edging their opponents in a 6-7, 7-5, 10-7 win.
The next day, Georgetown went up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which routed Georgetown 6-1 and swept the Hoyas in singles, allowing them only one doubles victory. All five singles matches were straight-set defeats.
“I don’t have anything great to say about that match other than they kicked our butts,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said.
“Their number one [singles player] was crushing the ball … they have a lot of really good kids and were really fired up to play us. I think that next time we need to do a better job of getting fired up for a match that we should win,” Beatty said.
Dottino and Portner won at second doubles for the Hoyas in a 6-4, 6-4 result, earning Georgetown a single point in a match that ended up being a blowout.
“Jordan Portner has been a real bright spot,” Ernst said. “He’s been a great doubles player and is trying to find a way to play singles too, so that’s good.
That same day, the Georgetown women’s team lost to UPenn by a score of 5-2. The Quakers swept the Hoyas in all three doubles matches, while winning an additional four singles matches.
Senior co-captain Sophie Panarese and junior Liselot Koenen fell in the first double slot, 8-2. Sophomore Victoire Saperstein and junior Taylor Perz lost 8-5, while freshman Casey Marx and sophomore Madeline Foley fell 8-6.
Saperstein won a hard-fought battle at number one singles, barely edging Quakers’ junior Sonya Latycheva in a three-set battle. Saperstein won the first set 6-4, but lost the second in a tiebreak. The third set was played out as a 10-point tiebreak, which Saperstein won 11-9.
Sophomore Sophia Barnard notched the only other point on the day for the Hoyas in her third singles victory. Barnard beat freshman Ria Vaidya in two sets, finishing off the match in a 6-4, 7-6(3) decision.
Next, the women’s team will face off against Richmond on Thursday, March 26. The men will return to match play on April 2 against Morgan State.