Coming off of four straight losses, the Georgetown men’s tennis team (5-8) looked to turn around its recent misfortune in its first match of the year on the team’s home courts Saturday.
Unfortunately, the Hoyas did no such thing as they fell to the University of Pennsylvania Quakers (4-8), 4-3. It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Hoyas.
Georgetown got off to a strong start winning the doubles point. The Hoyas received victories in the second and third slots. Though the second doubles pair — comprised of senior co-captain Casey Distaso and sophomore Daniel Khanin — lost in all three California matches last week, the players finally proved themselves with a victory against Penn.
“Casey’s got a great serve and a great overhead, and Danny’s a shorter guy who doesn’t serve as big and doesn’t hit as big an overhead, but his groundstrokes are powerful,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “It helps the chemistry of the team because then Casey can close and get overheads and volleys at the net. That’s what you look for; you look for that chemistry.”
Unfortunately though, Georgetown’s momentum did not carry over to singles play. The Hoyas only managed wins at first and fourth singles. Khanin continued his hot streak by winning decisively at the first singles spot 6-2, 6-3, and junior Alex Tropiano in a competitive 7-6(3), 7-6(5) contest.
“[Khanin] played some of the best tennis of his career,” Ernst said. “Tropiano didn’t play great, but he found a way to win. Winning these close matches just gives him more and more confidence. In the end, it comes down to winning the doubles point and winning tight three-setters.”
Junior John Brosens posed significant competition for Penn sophomore Zach Lessen, but lost in the sixth single with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-7(3) result to give the Quakers the victory.
“I’m really proud of [John], and at the end of the day he couldn’t have tried and fought harder. He gave it his all. He did things out there, too, that I’ve never seen him do … and he served great,” Ernst said.
Meanwhile, the women (7-7, 1-2 Big East) won in a 4-3 contest against the Richmond Spiders (5-7) on Thursday and shut out the Providence Friars (4-9, Big East 0-2) 7-0 at home Saturday to extend their winning streak to six matches.
Despite beginning the season 1-7, the team has now put itself in position for a winning season.
“We’re really starting to come into our own in a nice way. We played Boston College, Boston University, DePaul and St. John’s those are all full-scholarship programs that are very good,” Ernst said. “When there are losses, the girls don’t get down on themselves and they don’t lose confidence. Now that’s just made them better.”
Although sophomore Liselot Koenen and freshman Victoire Saperstein won in the first doubles position against Richmond, the Spiders still captured the doubles point. But, thanks to the efforts of senior co-captain Kelly Comolli, Georgetown was able to notch the win on the singles side. Comolli defeated Melissa Kandinata in come from behind style 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
“Kelly Comolli just won one of the best matches of her four years,” Ernst said. “She came back and beat the girl, and everyone responded to that. They got more confident, and then they won.”
Georgetown continued its hot streak against Providence on Saturday. Saperstein impressed at singles, earning her fourth number one singles victory of the year with a 6-4, 6-3 result. Comolli dominated in the second singles slot, picking up a 6-1, 6-3 win. The Friars had no answer to the Hoyas in the remainder of the singles matches and were unable to pick up even a single set. Freshman Sophie Barnard won her first set in the third singles slot for the Hoyas 6-0, but she retired in the second due to her opponent’s injury.
“They didn’t test us too much, but that was one of the better Providence teams we’ve played,” Ernst said. “Their girls fought to get winners out of us because we were playing very solid and steady”
The women will compete with James Madison on March 28, while the men will look to end their losing streak against the Xavier Musketeers on April 4.
“We don’t play for a while.We get almost two weeks off, and maybe that’s a good thing on some level to forget about some of these close losses,” Ernst said. “We’ll be excited to play.”