Tennis Squads Progress Nicely



John Kelly

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams rebounded from mid-season slumps with strong performances on their spring break trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina.

During the week preceding spring break, the men’s team had a grueling schedule with three matches in four days. On Saturday March 3 the Raiders lost a tough match to Binghamton by a score of 6-1. The following day the Raiders traveled to West Point and could not keep up with Army, losing by a score of 5-2. Junior Tyler Deck and first-year Michael Yassky turned in strong performances for the Raiders. After losing the first set 6-3, Deck won the next two, 7-6 and 10-8. Yassky also dropped the first set 6-4, before taking the next two by matching 6-3 scores.

Although Colgate came out on the losing side Coach Pennington was pleased with the team’s performance.

“This was a quality, quality match,” Coach Pennington said. “This is a big improvement compared to last season when both times we lost by a score of 7-0. We were within a couple of points of winning the match 4-3 and our like our chances for the rest of the season.”

On Tuesday March 6 the Raiders lost 6-1 to the Big Red of Cornell University. Once again, Deck secured the lone point for the Raiders with a three-set victory over Cornell’s Kyle Doppelt.

The warm weather of Hilton Head proved to be a perfect cure for the Raiders mid-season woes as they won two of three matches in South Carolina. In their first match, the Raiders squared off against a tough Coastal Carolina team who outpaced them en route to a 6-1 victory. Colgate finally ended a four-game losing skid with a 7-2 win over Denison University. The Raiders continued their success with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Kutztown. The team battled back from a 1-0 deficit to secure four points on the singles sides with victories at No. 2, 3, 4, and 6 singles. At the second singles spot sophomore Martin MacIntyre dispatched Somdeep Appineni by a score of 6-1, 6-1 while senior Marshall Wheeler won his match against Lukas Labitsch 6-0, 6-3. Deck and Yassky continued their winning ways securing victories at 4th and 6th singles respectively.

On the women’s side the Raiders lost two tough matches against undefeated Buffalo and Stony Brook by scores of 7-0. To regain their winning ways the team headed down to Hilton Head. In their first match of the week, the Raiders lost 7-0 to a tough Colorado State squad. The following day the Raiders lost a hard-fought match 7-2 to Denison. First-year Elise DeRose paced the Raiders winning by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 10-3. Fellow first-year Samantha Inacker handed Kendra Murray a loss at No. 3 singles, by matching 6-4 scores. In the final match of the week, the women emerged victorious with a convincing 7-0 victory over Upper Iowa. Colgate won all 9 matches and was led by the particularly strong play of DeRose, sophomore Erin Fenn and first-year Jackie Stimmel, who blanked their opponents by 6-0 scores.

Coach Pennington alluded to the weather’s effect on the Lady Raiders.

“It was great playing outside. It helped prepare us for playing on hard courts and the weather was great,” Pennington said. “It was a tremendous success. It showed our weaknesses and we need to improve. We are now prepared for the stretch-run.”

Standing at 5-5 on the season, the Raiders will travel to St. Bonaventure on March 24 and then host Manhattan the next day. The men’s team continues Patriot League play by heading to Navy on March 24.