On Wednesday, the Georgetown men and women’s tennis teams traveled to Villanova, Pa., to take on the Wildcats in what proved to be decisive road wins in Big East play. Fighting winter-like conditions that Head Coach Gordie Ernst described as “one of the toughest days I’ve seen in years,” both the men’s and women’s teams were able to continue their winning streaks and improve their in-conference records.
The men’s 4-3 win over Villanova is the sixth straight for Georgetown (8-8, 2-0), and the triumph over a main Big East rival makes Wednesday’s momentum-building victory the team’s most important one to date.
“It does a lot for us. We know for sure we’re not going to be the 8th or the 9th seed, which is important, and we’re shooting for an even higher seed than 7th this year,” Ernst said when asked about the implications of the win.
Senior Charlie Caris and graduate student Reese Milner anchored the Hoyas, taking No. 2 in doubles and No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. Junior Casey Distaso also played a major role for the men, winning both No. 1 doubles and No. 5 singles.
The 6-1 win for the Blue and Gray women (12-4, 3-2) marked their fifth straight. Senior Victoria Sekely and junior Madeline Jaeger set the tone for the victory, with Sekely winning No. 1 singles and doubles and Jaeger prevailing in No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles.
“It’s just another win to continue our great progress, and we now have a solid winning record in the conference,” Ernst said.
But, Ernst continued, the cold-weather wins meant more than just better seeding in the Big East tournament.
“Heavy winds and cold weather usually favors the winter team,” he said, noting that the conditions could easily have been a major obstacle to the Hoyas on the day. “Our girls and guys fought through and got the win.”
The men’s and women’s teams cannot afford to dwell on their wins with the Big East tournament fast approaching, though. Rutgers next Saturday will present another good test for the women ahead of the conference tourney, with midweek dates with out-of-conference opponents sprinkled in ahead of that final Big East match. And Ernst believes that his team is ready for the challenge.
“We have match experience, we have fitness — it’s just about implementing them,” he said.
The women’s team will host California (Penn.) Friday before taking on East Carolina on Saturday. The men, on the other hand, will play St. John’s Friday in another Big East matchup and follow that up with matches against Fairfield and cross town opponent George Washington the next day.
If those contests go well, the Hoyas could find themselves in much better position than the program is accustomed to heading into next week’s Big East tournament.
“This is sort of history in the making,” Ernst said.