It was a tough weekend for the Raider men’s and women’s tennis teams as they both lost Patriot League matches.
The loss was even tougher for the women, however, because it was in the Patriot League Tournament. With the loss, the women’s season ended with a solid 8-11 overall record and a 2-3 record in the Patriot League.
In the first round of the Patriot League Tournament, the women squared off against the number one seed and host, Army. The women performed well at every spot, but the match ended early, 4-0, after Army clinched the victory before every match was completed.
The women got off to a rocky start in doubles by losing the first and second doubles matches very quickly. Army had been impressive in doubles play all year and the team showed just that by getting the first point of the match in quick order.
The Raiders hoped to turn it around in singles play, but the Army team did not give the women many chances to come back. Army clinched the match by winning the first, second and fifth singles matches. The ladies played well at those spots, but they could not create any momentum against a tough Army singles lineup.
At the other three singles spots, the Raiders were playing well – senior co-captain Jamie Maldow was staging a comeback at third singles and classmate Ali Grabler was up a set and a break at sixth singles. The team has nothing to hang their heads about and the Raider women should be proud of how well they competed.
Before the spring season started, head coach Patrick Fisher spoke of how the ladies were predicted to finish fifth or sixth in the Patriot League. However, they proved their critics wrong with an impressive season in which they were able to earn a birth in the Patriot League Tournament.
Despite the tough loss to Army, it was a great season as the team improved greatly from the first match of the spring. The team also bids farewell to its three seniors, Maldow, Grabler and co-captain Marissa Alikpala, all of whom had great careers at Colgate. They performed to the best of their abilities in their years at Colgate and the trio will not be forgotten.
On Sunday, the men’s tennis team traveled to Navy knowing that third place in the Patriot League was at stake. Both teams had already clinched a playoff birth, but finishing third would mean playing Army instead of American in the first round. Army is considered to be an easier match, but in the Patriot League Tournament anything can happen.
The men played well, but they lost a heartbreaker by a score of 4-3. The Raiders got ahead early, but Navy came back to win the match. The Raiders set the tone early by winning the doubles point, taking the first and second doubles matches. The men talked about winning that doubles point all week and their hard work paid off as they took a 1-0 lead.
However, the Navy team staged a great comeback by winning four of the six singles matches to clinch the match. Senior co-captains Reed Hagmann and Pete Oman played very well in singles, as they won the Raiders’ only two singles matches.
Still, Navy prevailed at the last four spots with great playing. Junior Jake Heims didn’t play his best at second singles and he was dispatched in straight sets. Sophomore Chris Innes, who has been playing very well of late, had a close first set, yet also lost in two sets.
First-year Mickey Gallagher, who has been battling illness, did not play the match he wanted and he was beaten at fifth singles. Sophomore Marshall Wheeler, playing his third match since coming back from injury, also did not play up to his potential. Wheeler was beaten in straight sets at sixth singles.
It was a tough loss for the men, as it dropped their record to 8-17 overall and 3-3 in the Patriot League. The Patriot League record earned the men a fourth seed in the PL Tournament and a date with American tomorrow morning.
The Raiders were also not predicted to do well in the Patriot League, but the defied the critics to make the postseason. The team was heartbroken after the Navy loss, but it knows that if it plays well this weekend, a Patriot League championship within reach.
Fisher has been optimistic all year that this team can win the Patriot League title. Hagmann and Oman have a lot to play for, as this is their last Patriot League Tournament, and they hope to do go out on top.