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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Tennis Locks in for Upcoming Patriot League Tournament

Colgate Athletics / Todd Slabaugh

Colgate University’s men’s and women’s tennis teams have had an eventful season thus far. On Saturday, March 3o, the women’s team beat Bucknell for the first time in seven years. The team pulled through in a nail-biting series of matches, coming out on top 4-3. The match was a season highlight for sophomore Amelia Galin. 

“This match was electric. We have had so many close matches and have been wanting this for so long. [Bucknell has] always been big rivals of ours and there is a big feud between us, so for us to get that win was something that none of us really expected but all of us really wanted. This was really big for us,” Galin said. 

Mid-match, the team was forced to drive to an indoor court due to a rain delay in the middle of a match. However, this didn’t phase junior Addie Eklund. Galin talked about a watershed moment during the match, where Eklund’s play breathed life into the Raiders and swung momentum back to their side of the court. 

“[Eklund] had this big serve and [her opponent] could barely get to it. The emotion and roar that our team had was unlike any other point or match we had ever had,” Galin said. 

Sophomore Sasha Herman also commented on the moment the team won. 

“[Eklund] clinched pretty easily and we were all so excited. We ran down onto the court and started screaming,” Herman said. 

“We talk all the time about how [Bucknell is] our number one rival,” Galin said. “They’ve been our biggest competition and they felt untouchable last year, so for us to get that win and that feeling of when we sprinted down the mini stairs of the indoor court to go cheer on [Eklund] and congratulate her […], there’s honestly no other moment like that.”

Unfortunately, the men’s team has not found the same success recently, as they suffered tough losses against Bucknell on Friday, March 29, and Boston University on Saturday, March 30. Sophomore John Fazli reflected on the losses. 

“The matches were pretty tight, but we definitely didn’t play as free or as strong in the bigger moments,” Fazli said.

Fazli also spoke on the challenging season the men’s team has had so far. 

“We’ve had three very, very close losses. I think those would have been season changing wins. They were all very doable. Those tight losses are hard to swallow, but we’ve learned a lot from them,” Fazli said.  

Herman spoke about how the women’s team has struggled with similar moments in their season. 

“I think we all struggled in some of the big moments in some big matches and I think that’s why we’ve had a few losses that we should have won, but everyone has really learned how to play the big points and win in stressful moments,” Herman said.

Throughout the season, Head Coach Bobby Pennington, as well as coaching staff Rob Israel and Jake Sandler, have been immensely impactful on the team. Galin expressed her gratitude for the support of her coaches.

“Our coaching staff are our biggest fans out there. They think the world of everyone and they know how good everyone is. They want the team to win just as bad as you do,” Galin said. 

Fazli also spoke highly of Pennington, calling him a “players’ coach.”

“He’s very personable and we all like him as a person, and that makes us want to play for him. He’s fostered an environment of fun team culture that makes us energetic, loud and hard-working on the court,” Fazli said.  

When looking toward the future, the women’s team is fortunate to have five first-years this year out of their ten-person roster, all of whom have excelled in their play throughout the season.

“The [first-years] have brought a lot of new talent to the team for sure and I think they have brought great new friendships for all of us,” Herman said.

Galin echoed Herman’s thoughts on the new additions to the team.

“We all get along so well and it’s been really nice to get to know all of them,” Galin said. “It’s incredible to have five [first-years] that make such a big impact on this team. We just keep getting better.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams traveled to Clearwater, Fla., over spring break. The teams competed in two matches and trained every day. Fazli thought the trip was a great bonding experience. 

“Being in Florida with your team is the best thing ever,” Fazli said. “Being able to play outside and get away from the cold of Hamilton and actually play in warm weather was very beneficial for us.” 

Moving forward, both teams will play in the Patriot League Tournament the weekend of April 18. Sophomore Aidan Chung on the men’s team offered his thoughts as the team heads toward the Tournament.

“I think we all have high expectations. We want to do some damage and prove to the league that we’re still here,” Chung said. “We’re very motivated. We all want to win really bad. I think we’re all in the right mindset right now and it’s just a matter of time before things click.”

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