The Georgetown tennis teams traveled cross-country to California over spring break to compete in matches and achieved mixed results. The men’s team (5-7) was unable to notch a win, losing all three matches it played. Meanwhile, the women’s team (5-7, 0-2 Big East) played in three matches and was victorious in all, boosting its record considerably after beginning the season with a 2-6 record.
The men started poorly, dropping their first match 7-0 to UC Santa Barbara (5-9) on March 8. Georgetown lost all three doubles matches, including a tight 8-7 loss for senior co-captain Casey Distaso and sophomore Daniel Khanin. The Gauchos triumphed over the Hoyas in straight sets in five of their six singles matches. Junior Alex Tropiano was the only Hoya to win a set, but fell 5-7, 7-6, 10-6 at fourth singles.
“We’re really just missing opportunities,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “We have these opportunities to do well and we’re not capitalizing. For whatever reason, we still have a big inconsistency with guys from match to match.”
Georgetown’s luck did not turn around as it ventured to other UC schools, losing a close match to UC Riverside 4-3 and another to UC Irvine 5-2. Though the men played inconsistently, they did perform admirably in a few areas.
“We started to play better doubles in the last match against Irvine. I mean we played some really good doubles so that’s important,” Ernst said. “Also, Tropiano is steadily improving. He’s doing better and better in every match whether he wins or loses and just showing really solid improvement.”
The women’s team started its set of matches strongly with a tight 4-3 victory over Cal State Fullerton (4-10). It proceeded to down Claremont-Mudds-Scripps (7-5) 7-2 — an impromptu addition to the schedule —two days later. They completed an undefeated run in California by defeating UC Riverside (0-14) 5-2.
“I’m so proud of them,” Ernst said. “You know what I’m proud of them for is that they have a short memory. They don’t worry that they lost last week to DePaul; they just go out and play.”
Both teams were slated to compete with the University of D.C. this week, but both matches have been postponed because of weather. Instead, the men will next take on the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (3-8) while the women will face the Richmond Spiders (4-6) and the Providence Friars (2-5, 0-1 Big East).
As with all the Ivies, Penn will be a formidable opponent for Georgetown.
“Penn, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Yale and Princeton are all good,” Ernst said. “It’s going to be a tough match, but we can beat them.There’s no doubt about it.”
This match against the Quakers is key to the Hoyas’ success going forward, as their momentum going into the Big East match will rely heavily on their late-season play. Since the men’s team couldn’t pick up a win in California, the match on Saturday carries even more importance.
“We had our chances … but we’re still missing the crucial component and that’s the breakthrough win over a good team,” Ernst said. “If we don’t get a good win before the Big East, then it’s going to be tough for us to do well at the Big East because of the confidence factor.”
The Providence women’s team is currently suffering a four-match losing streak, most recently suffering a lop-sided 7-0 loss to Big East rival Seton Hall. The Georgetown women look to continue their four- game win streak in these match-ups while also improving their Big East record.
The women’s team defeated Richmond 4-3 Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on the McDonough courts, and will return to the courts Saturday when it takes on Providence at 10:00 a.m. The men will play Penn on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. on the McDonough courts as well.
“This is all confidence,” Ernst said. “If we can get a breakthrough win like Penn on Saturday, then I think we can still have a good year.”