Both Georgetown tennis teams were riding hot streaks heading into the Big East Tournament this past weekend, but neither team was able to translate this momentum into postseason success.
The men’s team (12-11, 3-0 Big East) headed into the postseason ranked fifth in the conference and faced fourth-seeded Marquette in its first match. The match went poorly for the Hoyas, who dropped the doubles point before losing the first three singles points to fall 4-0.
Head Coach Gordie Ernst travelled with the women’s team, so Assistant Coach Matt Brooklyn led the men’s team. Mother Nature was not kind to the Hoyas, and unfavorable weather conditions hindered Georgetown’s preparations.
“The guys were not prepared that well because it took us two days to get into Chicago with the storm that went through,” Brooklyn said. “The preparation wasn’t ideal.”
The men’s team had a second chance for a postseason victory in the consolation round against ninth-seeded St. John’s. The Hoyas may have felt confident heading into the match after defeating the Red Storm 4-3 when they met earlier this year, but this time, an improved St. John’s squad pulled out a 4-1 win to end the season for the Hoyas.
“It was a different match. When we played them here it was outdoors, and we were indoors [last time].” Brooklyn said. “They were all fired up and ready to play, and they really wanted revenge.”
The women’s team (15-8, 2-3 Big East) headed into the Big East Tournament seeded seventh in the conference. In the first round, the Blue and Gray faced Pittsburgh, a team they had defeated 5-2 earlier this season.
The Hoyas opened up the match strong, winning the doubles point courtesy of wins from the duos of junior Kelly Comolli and junior Madeline Jaeger as well as graduate student Elizabeth Hamlin and senior captain Victoria Sekely. Georgetown collapsed in the singles, however, losing four straight to fall 4-1.
Ernst was surprised that the women’s team failed to step up to the challenge and take the match from the Panthers.
“We played really good doubles. We were so focused, which was right where I wanted the girls to be. So the last thing I really expected was to lose that day,” Ernst said. “I was a little surprised that some of our girls just didn’t bring their best stuff, when they had plenty of experience under their belts from the year. We played tentatively; we played scared at times.”
He also credited Pittsburgh with showing an effort level the Blue and Gray hadn’t faced all season.
“Pitt really regrouped and they fought as hard as any team we’ve played all year. I didn’t really think they would put together that good of an effort after we beat them up at their place pretty soundly [earlier this year].”
The Hoyas redeemed themselves in the consolation round, defeating 12th-seeded Providence 4-1. Georgetown continued its strong performance in doubles, and freshman Taylor Perz capped off an improved singles performance with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 victory to clinch the win.
The win was not enough to impress Coach Ernst, however, who wasn’t particularly inspired by the victory.
“We should beat Providence,” Ernst said.
Georgetown then faced off against ninth-ranked Cincinnati in its last match of the season. The long weekend caught up with the Blue and Gray, as they were handled with relative ease by the Bearcats and fell 4-0.
Despite ending the season on a sour note, Ernst said he is proud of the season both his teams had, and pointed out all of his teams’ accomplishments in the regular season.
“We just had an amazing season, with everyone getting along so well,” Ernst said. “I really want to look back on it as that, not the ending in the Big East Tournament.”