The Georgetown women’s tennis team began its 2020 season Saturday, Jan. 18, in College Park, Md., with a match against the University of Maryland Terrapins. The Hoyas fell 3-4 on the day but had a strong showing that improved upon their preseason performances.
After losing every match of the Harvard Invitational on Nov. 3, 2019, the Hoyas returned to campus ready to ring in the new decade with a stronger performance. In the singles matches, the Hoyas went 3-3. Junior Sofie Moenster, who has historically been a strong performer for the Hoyas with an 11-9 singles record and 9-18 doubles record last season, was bested by Maryland freshman Ayana Akil 6-0 and 6-2 in consecutive sets.
Freshman Agata Mikos started off slow in her match against Maryland sophomore Chloe Hamlin, scoring only one point in the first set. Mikos, however, came back to dominate Hamlin 6-2 and 6-0 in the final two sets to secure Georgetown’s first match win of the tournament.
Sophomore Elena de Santis had a similar performance to Mikos, dropping the first set 1-6 before coming back to defeat Maryland freshman Vera Markovic 6-2 and 6-3 in the final two sets of the match. These two comebacks for the Hoyas show the benefits of their offseason training and current levels of stamina, persisting while their opponents suffer fatigue.
Freshman Olivia Ashton shut out Maryland senior Katsiaryna Yemelyanenka in consecutive sets, recording 6-0 and 6-2 results to top off the Blue and Gray’s three points earned on the day.
The Hoyas were swept in their final two singles matches of the day, with Maryland junior Zoe Kulkarni defeating Georgetown sophomore Brooke Murphy 6-4 and 6-2 and Maryland senior Saya Usui besting Georgetown freshman Carmen Aizpurua 6-2 in consecutive sets.
The doubles matches did not provide any victories for the Hoyas, as the freshmen duo of Ashton and Mikos fell 0-6 to their opponents and senior Anna Short and De Santis also suffered a scoreless loss. Freshman Chloe Bendetti and Moenster faired better, managing to win two games before ultimately falling 5-2 to Maryland junior Eva Alexandrova and Usui.
The team’s performance demonstrated an improvement from their fall slate and points to a more promising spring season after the Blue and Gray dropped all six of its singles matches at the Harvard Invitational in early November. The team similarly struggled at the ITA Regionals in late October, losing all six of its singles matches and both of its doubles matches in a winless tournament showing. The team’s result against the Terrapins shows the Hoyas’ renewed competitiveness and ability to keep scores significantly closer.
The team looks ahead to a spring season with a challenging Big East schedule. Despite struggling in large tournaments against a number of teams at different skill levels this fall, Georgetown returns to the Big East stage to compete against a number of familiar foes in an effort to overcome its 1-6 conference record in the 2018-19 season.
In the coming months, the Blue and Gray will play matches nearly every weekend against teams both in the Big East and across the East Coast. The Hoyas will next face the Liberty University Flames in Lynchburg, Va., on Jan. 25 in search of their first win of the spring season.