Men’s and Women’s Tennis Split Weekend At Home

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Julie Tarallo

The men’s and women’s tennis teams took on two Patriot League rivals last weekend at the Turning Stone Resort in front of a crowd of supporters. First the squads faced Patriot League power house Bucknell on Saturday, ultimately los­ing the match-up; the women by a score of 6-1 and the men by a close score of 4-3. The teams were able to bounce back the following day, defeating the Lafay­ette Leopards by a convincing 6-1 mar­gin for both teams. This gives the men an overall 6-10 record, 1-3 in league play and the women an overall 4-11 record, 1-3 in league play.

On the women’s side, the competition was fierce as the women faced off against the strong Bison team. In doubles, the women were able to secure one victory at No. 2 when senior captain Stephanie Bender and senior Jen Marquit defeated the Bucknell duo of Daria Tuzhikova and Courtney Casey, 6-3. Unfortunately, the Raiders dropped two of the three dou­bles matches, ultimately losing the set. In singles, the women put up a strong fight, hoping to overcome the early defi­cit. First-years Alex Petrini and Kelsey Shea and junior captain Stephanie Brown showed heart, despite being slightly edged in three sets at No. 2, 3 and 4 re­spectively. First-year Becky Silvers was able to pull through for the squad, secur­ing the Raiders’ lone win at No. 6 in a pro-set by a score of 8-3.

The women returned on Sunday with renewed vengeance, ultimately capturing the match 6-1 to take home their first Patriot League win of the season. With the doubles point on the line, the Raid­ers pulled through big, winning all three matches easily. Brown credits the team’s victory to its success in doubles.

“After recently switching up the teams, our new second doubles team played great, getting wins in both matches this weekend,” Brown said.

At No. 1, Brown and Petrini took down their opponents 8-2, while Bender and Marquit secured the doubles point, winning by a decisive 8-2 margin. Shea and Silvers wrapped things up in dou­bles for the Raiders, winning by a score of 8-5.

Enthusiastic and optimistic coming off doubles play, Colgate continued to dominate the Leopards, capturing five of the six singles matches in straight sets. Bender set the tone, winning easily, 6-1, 6-3. Petrini followed suit at No. 2, 6-3, 6-4, while Shea captured her match at No. 3, 6-0, 6-2. Brown and Marquit fin­ished off the Leopards at No. 4 and No. 5, never giving up a set.

“This weekend the girls fought really hard in both matches and we were able to show Bucknell and Lafayette that we can be a big competitor in the Patriot League tournament in a few weeks,” Brown said. “We still have two more regular season Patriot League matches left before the tournament starts, so our big goal is to beat Lehigh this Saturday so we can be sure to be seeded in the top four of the tournament.”

The men also obtained a weekend split, falling to Bucknell on Saturday and over­coming the loss with a big win on Sunday over the Leopards. Saturday’s match was especially tough for the Raiders, as they fell by a single point. In doubles, the men were unable to secure a victory, falling in all three matches and ultimately losing the important point. With a deficit to overcome, Colgate put up a strong fight versus the talented Bison squad. First-year Luke Gensburg extended his win­ning streak at No. 1, defeating Bucknell’s Gregg Cohenca in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. Classmate Bobby Berkowitz also played tough, edging his opponent in three close sets at No. 2, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6. The Raiders were only able to pick up one more vic­tory, as senior captain Phil Bernasek de­feated Mark Malloy in straight sets, 7-6, 6-3. Unfortunately, Bernasek’s convinc­ing win was not enough to put the Raid­ers on top, as they dropped the match in a crushing 4-3 defeat.

Colgate was able to bounce back on Sunday, however, grabbing its first inter-league victory over the Lafayette Leop­ards. The Raiders captured all three doubles matches, setting the team up for excellent singles play. The senior cap­tain duo of Goussiatnikov and Bernasek won 8-4 at No. 1, while sophomore Alec Goldstein and classmate Parker Lewis se­cured the doubles point at No. 2 by an 8-7 margin. Gensburg and junior team­mate Sean Spellberg finished off doubles in a decisive 8-4 victory. The Raiders claimed five more wins in singles to de­cide the match, taking four matches in straight sets. Gensburg dominated at No. 1, winning 6-0, 6-3, while Gold­stein claimed the No. 3 match, 6-3, 7-5. Goussiatnikov faced the closest match, but ultimately came out on top in three close sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Finally, Ber­nasek and junior Connor Feuille cap­tured No. 5 and No. 6 for the Raiders in convincing straight sets. Goussiatnikov notes the team’s overall talent and their anticipation for upcoming league play.

“We have more depth this year than we’ve ever had and everyone showed a lot of resilience,” Goussiatnikov said. “There is a ton of parity throughout the league this year and our chances to win it have never been better.”

Head Coach Bobby Pennington echoed Goussiatnikov’s sentiment, ex­pressing the importance of the team’s win on Sunday.

“This was a very important Patriot League victory for the men after drop­ping a heartbreaker to Bucknell on Sat­urday,” Coach Pennington said. “We showed a lot of resilience Sunday against a good team. We can’t wait for Lehigh on Saturday at home.”

The Raiders will take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks at Turning Stone on Saturday, hoping to extend their Patriot League success and secure top seeds in the upcoming tournament.