Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Hits the Court

Georgetown Hits the Court

Hoyas Prove Solid After Opening Tourney

By Youngna Park Special to The Hoya

The Georgetown men’s tennis team sent two of its strongest players to the T. Rowe Price National Intercollegiate Clay Court Championships in Baltimore last weekend to kick off the season. Freshman Dennis Cravedi and junior Nick Sklavounos respresented Georgetown in the annual tournament with both competing in the men’s singles division of this single-elimination competition.

Both players saw tough opposition in the initial pre-qualifying round of the competition. On Saturday, Cravedi defeated Brian Johnson of Loyola (Md.), 7-6, 6-3, in the first round. Sklavounos was defeated, 6-4, 6-1, by Michael Yani of Duke and, despite his efforts, was eliminated from the tournament.

Cravedi participated in the second round on Sunday, once again proving successful as he defeated David Blackburn of Mississippi State, 6-2, 6-3. With only one match remaining in the pre-qualifying round, Cravedi advanced into the third round later that afternoon, but struggled as he fell to Zoltan Csandi of Old Dominion, 7-5, 6-3.

This year’s men’s and women’s teams are under the leadership of Head Coach Rich Bausch, a graduate of Catholic University. Two new assistant coaches, Jennifer Cooper and Kevin Rieder, will bring their guidance and experience to the courts, as well as relieve Bausch of some of the work of coaching and traveling with both teams. Bausch commented that both Cooper and Rieder are “passionate about tennis and want to make a difference and help the players.”

Returning sophomore Hadley Muckerman added, “they are really understanding and are great with people.”

The Hoyas will open up their season at home this Saturday, Sept. 23, at 11 a.m., with a dual match against Mt. Saint Mary’s. As a member of the Big East, Georgetown will once again face tough competition as it fights for a spot in the conference championships in April. The men’s team must finish in the top six in the 11-team conference, with opponents such as Connecticut, St. John’s, Rutgers and West Virginia standing in its way.

The women’s team must also finish in the top six in its 14-team conference, also facing Rutgers and West Virginia, as well as Providence and Seton Hall. This format is different from past years, when all 13 teams were admitted to the Big East Championships, as opposed to the mere six now admitted.

Experience will prove to be the key this year for the men, as five of six of last year’s starting singles players will be returning for the 2000 season. On the women’s side, four of six starters graduated with the class of 2000, so the team will depend upon the remaining veterans to bring their experience to the court.

The women’s team has three newcomers – freshmen Jordan Botjer, Lara Madonia and Anne Thompson – while the men’s team adds two new faces in Cravedi and freshman Michael Nelson, who hails from Trinidad and Tobago.

“The competition looks tough, but we have been working hard and our team looks strong,” Thompson said.

Muckerman added, “We lost a lot of players last year, but we have three new freshman and they look very strong. I think they will add a lot to the team.”

As Bausch and his teams look forward to their season, they have added an extra hour of rigorous practice to allow them to hit more balls.

“We need to win the doubles in each of our dual matches, and a high percentage of our third sets in the singles matches,” Bausch said.

With an exciting season ahead of them, the team hopes that its hard work will pay off with solid results. Beginning this Saturday on McDonough courts, the men and women representing Georgetown tennis will start their journey to the Big East Championships.

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