The Colgate men and women’s tennis teams returned home with a combined 0-3 record after facing stiff competition on the road last weekend.
After starting the season with a win, the men’s team lost its next four matches. The team entered the weekend hoping to snap its losing streak but was unable to do so against Brown and Marist.
In its first match, the team could not handle Brown’s play as the Raiders lost, 7-0. Even with the loss, head coach Patrick Fisher was happy with the improvement he saw in the matches.
“We played much better in the doubles; if our doubles can continue to improve, that will give us a much better chance to win in the future,” Fisher conceded. “Our singles, however, had a tough time and not many positives came out of there. One bright spot at singles was [first-year] Mickey [Gallagher], who almost took his match to three sets.”The Brown team really took it to the Raiders and the men had few answers for the Ivy League school.
The next day the Raiders hoped to end their losing ways, but again lost, 7-0, this time at Marist. The team faced adversity before the match even started, as senior co-captain Pete Oman was forced to sit out with an injury. Oman’s injury really hurt the Raiders in the match, as it exposed the team’s sudden lack of depth.
“[Sophomore Marshall] Wheeler is already out and having Oman get injured hurt us bad on Sunday,” Fisher said. “Oman’s injury is not serious, but it shows we need to get healthy. We do not have much depth, so it is difficult to handle so many injuries. However, we must deal with it and step up to the challenge.”
Adding to the team’s troubles, the squad received another serious blow to its lineup after the match, as junior second singles player Jake Heims learned he would be out six weeks with a broken wrist. Heims suffered the injury during his match against Marist and, to his credit, he completed the match despite the injury.
Senior co-captain Reed Hagmann, who will be looked upon even more in the face of the injuries, lost a very close match on Sunday in a third set tiebreak and is having trouble finding his singles touch in the spring. However, Hagmann is a fighter and he will definitely turn his game around in the upcoming weeks. The Raiders will certainly need him if they have any chance at winning the Patriot League.
The Raiders lost their sixth consecutive match against Marist, and Fisher doesn’t see Colgate getting any easy wins any time soon – especially with the team’s second and third singles players out with injury. “Our schedule doesn’t get any easier from here, as we play two more Ivy’s,” Fisher said. “I see improvement in everyone’s game, but we are facing a lot of adversity with injuries now. We may be losing now, but this will definitely help us in the long run as we enter league play.”Fisher remains optimistic and feels that when players get healthier, the Raiders will then be able to cause damage in League play. The women’s tennis team also had a tough weekend at Brown, as the women also lost, 7-0, but played hard in every match. After splitting its first two matches, the team hoped to use last week’s 7-0 victory over St. Bonaventure as motivation against Brown.
That would not happen as Brown played much better and defeated the Raiders. However, Fisher reported a bright spot from the match. “Our best player by far was [first-year] Alex Seaton, who won our only match at doubles almost single-handedly,” Fisher lauded. “She was like a one-man team out there. She also played the closest singles match and I can see her being our number one by the end of the year, if she continues to improve as she has.”
Fisher also credited senior co-captains Jamie Maldow and Marissa Alikpala with having great leadership. The two women are the only returning players from last year’s starting lineup and they will be critical to the team’s success this year.
“There are only two players back from last year, so this is a completely new and young team,” Fisher said. “I see everyone is working hard to improve and I feel we can be successful by the end of the year.”Even though the men and women both suffered bad losses over the weekend, there is no reason for them to hang their heads, playing against very difficult teams. Fisher remains optimistic and feels that, as the men’s team gets healthier and the women’s team gains experience, both can be successful in Patriot League play.