The Raiders played their final non-conference and Patriot League matches of the season in back-to-back home games on Friday and Saturday at the J.W. Abrahamson Tennis Courts. Colgate’s momentum did not continue from their previous two wins, as they dropped to 8-10 overall and 2-3 in the Patriot League. The team hopes to move past these losses and be at their best this coming weekend for the Patriot League Tournament.
Colgate put up a good fight against Marist on Friday, but were unable to take down the Red Foxes. While they lost overall, the individual match scores tell more than the 7-0 posting.
Senior co-captain Katie Grant emphasized the importance of mental toughness in matches.
“Marist was a tough match for us. Many of the courts were very competitive and it really came down to a few key points on most courts that cost us the match. Ultimately Marist played with a better mental toughness during those big points and it ended up costing us the win,” Grant said.
Grant and junior Kaelin Brittin fought for a 7-5 victory over the Marist pairing of seniors Melissa Carlay and Lisa Ventimiglia. Unfortunately, Colgate was unable to pull out wins in No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, losing both matches 6-3.
Even though Marist held the 1-0 advantage, the Raiders were not about to hand over the remaining singles matches. Many of the sets went back and forth in game scores, as each team battled for the win.
First-year Nicole Szczech came close to securing a singles match victory for Colgate. At No. 6 singles, Szczech claimed the first set 6-2. The two opponents were neck-and-neck in the second set until senior Nikki Rohan won in a tiebreak, and then went on to take the third set 6-4.
The following day, the Raiders went up against Patriot League rival Loyola. Saturday also marked the team’s Senior Day. Senior co-captains Grant and Jen Ho were honored by their teammates prior to the start of the match.
Colgate suffered another tough loss against the Greyhounds, 7-0. The No. 1 doubles team of first-year Lauren Hyland and Ho forced their match into a tiebreak, but were unable to clinch the victory, losing 7-6 (2).
Similarly to the match against Marist, Hyland saw how many individual matches against Loyola could have gone either way.
“Loyola is a huge rival for us and it was a closer match than the score portrayed. Our doubles matches were all very close and my partner, Jen Ho, and I were at one point two points from the match,” Hyland said.
Grant agreed and added that a few of the players have been dealing with injuries throughout the season, which prevented them from playing their best.
“Loyola was a tough match for us. We really tried to go into the match with a positive attitude as a team, but four of our starters went into it nursing serious injuries and that proved to be too much for us to overcome,” Grant said
Loyola racked up all three doubles matches, and then the six singles matches. The loss moved Colgate to 8-10 overall and 2-3 in the Patriot League.
Honoring their seniors stood as a highlight of the day. Hyland recognized how the team is looking to finish strong to give the seniors, and the team as a whole, a positive end to the season.
“Senior Day was special for Katie and Jen and a nice way to end their tennis career regardless of the score line. This week we are going to recover from two difficult matches,” Hyland said. “We will play some practice matches in order to prepare for the tough competition at patriots.”
The Raiders will take part in the 2016 Patriot League Championship at the Fluegel-Moore Tennis Stadium/Tose Family Tennis Center in Annapolis, Md. on April 21.