In its first and only matchup with an Ivy League team in its spring season, the Georgetown men’s tennis team (1-4) fell to No. 45 Princeton (3-2) in a 5-2 finish Saturday, which included two singles wins and a single doubles victory for Georgetown. The Tigers headed into the matchup coming off of a 7-0 sweep of Navy (2-2), a team that Georgetown edged 4-3 on Jan. 29.
“I’m not that disappointed,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said. “We were right there with them, unfortunately. I thought they played very well, especially their top two guys. … These guys played great doubles, both of them, and then in the singles, they won in straight sets against [senior] Danny [Khanin] and [sophomore] Marco [Lam] and that kind of set the tone.”
Matches in the first and second doubles slots were not close, with both Georgetown pairs falling in 6-1 results. Princeton junior Thomas Colautti and sophomore Luke Gamble defeated Georgetown freshman Michael Chen and junior Jordan Portner, while sophomores Lam and Peter Beatty fell to Princeton junior Alexander Day and sophomore Kial Kaiser.
Hoya juniors Yannik Mahlangu and Jack Murphy topped senior Florin Radu and freshman Jimmy Wasserman in a 6-5 (5) finish, but as Princeton won the majority of the doubles matches, it captured the doubles point and secured a 1-0 lead.
Khanin, Lam, Chen and sophomore Mac Rechnan all fell in their singles matches. They were all defeated in fairly similar fashions; Khanin and Chen were both defeated in 6-3, 6-3 finishes. Lam fell to Colautti 6-2, 6-4.
Beatty and freshman Will Sharton notched the only singles victories for the Hoyas in two competitive three-set matches in the third and sixth singles slots, respectively. Beatty downed Wasserman in a 6-7, 6-4, 1-0 battle. Meanwhile, Sharton defeated junior Jonathan Carcione in a 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 finish. Because the final result was already decided before Beatty and Sharton concluded their matches, the pair only played a ten-point tiebreak instead of a full third set.
“The positives are Peter Beatty and Will Sharton winning their matches against very highly ranked juniors. Both those guys they beat were much higher ranked than those two in the junior [rankings], so that’s always good to see,” Ernst said.
The men’s team will take a break from play for two weeks. However, those two weeks will be key, as the Hoyas’ next match is against Big East foe DePaul (2-5). Despite DePaul’s dominant history over the Hoyas — Georgetown fell 7-0 to DePaul last season — the Blue Demons are currently on a four-match losing streak. Before they meet with the Hoyas, they will play the Wisconsin Badgers (5-0) on Feb. 13.
Meanwhile, the Georgetown women’s tennis team (0-1) has been preparing for its match against Towson (3-1, 0-1 Colonial Athletic Association), which will take place Tuesday at noon. Thus far, Towson has routed three of its opponents in 6-1, 7-0 and 7-0 finishes. Its lone loss was at the hands of James Madison (3-2, 1-0 CAA) on Jan. 31. Since then, the Tigers have swept both St. Peter’s (3-6, 1-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) and Rhode Island (2-3).
Ernst explained that one of Georgetown’s particular strengths is its depth, which will play an important role in the Hoyas’ match against the Tigers, as some of the Georgetown women’s tennis players have been sick recently.
“I have a lot of girls and guys that are kind of even, so if you do have an injury or something, you have someone else who can go in. In the past I haven’t had that,” Ernst said.
The women’s team’s only match of the season finished in a loss to Navy (7-3, 0-1 Patriot League) in a 4-3 finish Jan. 29. The first doubles team, led by senior Victoire Saperstein and freshman Risa Nakagawa, defeated Navy’s Kristine Rojo and Rozel Hernandez 6-3. However, Navy won in the second and third doubles slot, capturing the doubles point.
Freshmen Cecelia Lynham and Nakagawa and sophomore Casey Marx all won their singles matches. However, it wasn’t enough to win the match, as Saperstein, junior Sophia Barnard and sophomore Sara Swift all lost their singles matches.
“This is what you want your freshmen to do,” Ernst said, in reference to Lynham and Nakagawa’s play. “You want them to be in the fire right in the beginning, and this helps for the future. And they’re also high-ranked, experienced juniors who have been through tough matches, so to have them in the lineup is a good thing.”
The women’s team will compete with Towson (3-1) Tuesday at noon in Arlington, Va., and the men’s team’s will play against DePaul (2-5) in Chicago on Feb. 20.