The Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis teams opened Big East play in a disappointing fashion this weekend, with both squads falling 6-1 to the St. John’s Red Storm in away matches in New York. However, the men’s team bounced back in a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Marist Red Foxes (1-3) the following day.
Riding a hot three-match win streak, the women’s tennis team (3-1, 0-1 Big East) headed into the battle against the Red Storm (4-1, 1-0 Big East) with confidence. Unfortunately, match play did not reflect those sentiments. The Hoyas fell 6-1, notching only one singles victory courtesy of junior Liselot Koenen. Koenen defeated Red Storm sophomore Stephanie Elgegren at fourth singles in a 6-2, 6-3 result.
“Liselot played well actually; she’s struggled with that tough stuff, but she managed to use her weapons and use her big serve and her slice backhand effectively,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said.
Georgetown failed to notch the doubles point, integral to both the match score and team’s confidence. The freshmen duo of Casey Marx and Daphne de Chatellus lost 6-0 in their doubles match, while sophomore pair Sophia Barnard and Victoire Saperstein fell 6-3. Considering that the majority of matches had already been won by St. John’s — thus scoring the doubles point — senior captain Sophie Panarese and Koenen’s match went unfinished at first doubles.
Unfortunately, the Blue and Gray did not bounce back in singles play. Three-set battles characterized both the first and fifth singles slots in the match, both concluding in Georgetown losses. At number one singles, Saperstein fell in a tight three-set contest that ended with a 7-6, 3-6, 11-9 result. Meanwhile, Marx lost at fifth singles in a 6-4, 5-7, 7-10 result. Barnard, Panarese and de Chatellus all lost in straight sets.
“Victoire and Daphne, especially Daphne, they should’ve won their matches,” Ernst said. “Really that made it like a 4-3 match, instead of 6-1. It really was much closer than a 6-1 loss, I’ll put it that way.”
“I think that our girls got so heated up for the match that it made them a little nervous. … Their girls moved better than we did, and they were able to play a little looser,” he added.
Though the women’s team was slated to compete with Seton Hall on Sunday, the match was cancelled for weather-related reasons.
The men’s team (3-1, 0-1 Big East) also competed with St. John’s (2-2, 1-0 Big East), resulting in a 6-1 loss. As St. John’s did on the women’s side, the Red Storm swept doubles. Senior Alex Tropiano and freshman Peter Beatty fell 6-3 at first singles, as did sophomore Jordan Portner and freshman Marco Lam at second doubles. Junior Daniel Khanin and redshirt senior Andrew Dottino’s third doubles match went unfinished.
Beatty won the only singles match for the Hoyas in the fifth singles slot, triumphing 6-1, 6-4. Khanin, Tropiano, sophomore Jack Murphy and senior Shane Korber all fell in straight sets in singles play. Lam pushed his third singles match to three sets, resulting in a 5-7, 6-4, 10-7 loss.
“It’s just another tough match,” Beatty explained. “There’s definitely a lot we can build on and hopefully we’ll see them in the Big East. … I think if we come out strong in the Big East and everyone’s firing at all six matches at once, we have a really good chance at turning the result the other way.”
The Hoyas turned the tide in their match against Marist the following day. Georgetown edged Marist in doubles play thanks to Portner and Tropiano’s tiebreaking victory at first doubles. Marist bounced back by winning three consecutive singles matches over Korber, Murphy and freshman Mac Rechan.
“Think about it — we’ve lost to St. John’s 6-1, and now we’re down 3-1 to Marist the next night,” Ernst said.
Lam edged Marist senior Joseph Dube in a tight three-set battle that concluded in a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win. Khanin won at first singles in straight sets, leaving the match up to Beatty at fourth singles.
Beatty did not disappoint, defeating Red Fox freshman Timo Tanzer. Beatty won in three sets by a score of 6-3, 7-6, 7-5.
“I think I played very well in that match,” Beatty said. “I just tried to not let the other guy into the match. You never want to go 0-2 on a weekend and I think the win was really big for us. Marist is a really good team this year.”
The women’s team’s next match is against George Washington (2-1) this Sunday. The men will continue Big East play in a match against DePaul (5-2, 2-0 Big East) two weeks from now.