Women’s Tennis Shuts Out Siena

Evan Xenopolous

While the Raider women’s tennis team defeated Siena to prevent a losing streak from forming last weekend, the men’s team continued its futility, losing three more matches to extend its losing streak to nine.It is hard to believe that the men, after winning their first match of the season, would run into such a rough stretch. However, with an extremely difficult schedule and injuries to two of its top three players, it has been difficult for the team to get wins from the bottom of the lineup.Last week, the Raiders traveled to Cornell and were defeated, 6-1. Although the score seems bad, the Raiders played inspired tennis and nearly won several matches. On top of a big win for senior co-captain Reed Hagmann at first singles, the Raiders almost took the doubles point and lost two other close singles matches. Overall, head coach Patrick Fisher was happy with the team’s play. “I thought we competed very well, especially with all the injuries,” Fisher said. “People showed they are ready to step up and I was happy with that. We almost won the doubles point and we could have taken third singles. It was an overall good performance and showed our team’s improvement.”Despite the improvement, losing another match really hurts, according to senior co-captain Pete Oman. “Injuries have killed us; I know we could have won this match with our full lineup,” he said. “We can’t worry about injuries now, and must try to work past it.”Having players like sophomore Marshall Wheeler and junior Jake Heims would really help the team, but Fisher has done a great job of teaching the team to play through adversity and not use injuries as an excuse.After playing Cornell, the Raiders traveled to New York City to face another Ivy League opponent in Columbia. The Raiders lost, 6-1, but some more bright spots came out of this match.Although the doubles had some close matches, the biggest win of the day came at number five singles for first-year Mickey Gallagher. It was the biggest win of his young career, as he showed great improvement. “Because of our injuries, Columbia was just a better team and there is not much we could have done,” Fisher said. “However, Hagmann definitely should have won his match and Mickey played the best match I have ever seen him play. Our doubles played well, but they definitely still need to improve. Besides that, I was very pleased with Mickey and I hope we can keep improving.”It was another tough loss, but the fiery young Gallagher is showing that he will be a big part of the Colgate tennis program in the future. The next day, the Raiders hoped to end their eight-game losing streak at St. Joseph’s.The Raiders lost a heartbreaker, 4-3, as they had a great chance to win the match. Even though the Raiders did not perform as well as they could have at doubles, they picked up wins at the number one, two and six singles spots. Oman lost a heartbreaker in a third set tiebreaker at fourth singles, which would have clinched the match for the Raiders.It was another tough defeat to swallow, but Fisher thought the team played well.”It was another tough loss, but our doubles did not play up to their potential,” Fisher conceded. “We got great performances out of [first-year] Tyler Deck at six singles and sophomore Chris Innes at two singles. I was disappointed that Mickey couldn’t have put a better match together, but coming off a big win against Columbia he might have slowed up a little. It easily could have been our match, but we have to look past it and keep playing.”The Raiders came close to ending their losing streak, but finished their 10-game road trip with a 1-9 record. The men’s team now comes home for the first time this season and will look to get some wins on the “Big Green” of the Sanford Fieldhouse.The women’s team, on the other hand, only had one match last week and the women played superbly, beating Siena, 7-0. It was a good win for the women in their first home match of the year. Senior co-captains Marissa Alikpala and Jamie Maldow led the way at first and second singles, respectively.”It was a total team effort from top to bottom to win this match,” Fisher said. “We did what we needed to do in order to win against a not so good team. Our doubles still need to improve, but on the whole everyone is improving. Our lower half especially needs to work harder so that we can compete in the conference.”Both the men’s and women’s teams are home this weekend and will look to put together some good matches. The men especially are glad to be home after four consecutive weeks of away matches. Fisher hopes that the team can now turn the corner and get back onto the winning track. Conference play is coming up soon, and so both the men’s and women’s teams will need complete team efforts if they hope to perform well.