Tennis Teams Lose Footing on Opponent’s Courts

%C2%A0

 

Julie Tarallo

The Colgate men’s and women’s tennis teams kicked off league play on the road this weekend, facing the Naval Academy Mid­shipmen on Saturday. The teams also took on the George Mason Patriots Sunday in Fairfax, Va. The men were defeated by the No. 1 ranked Mids on their home court by a score of 5-2, but were able to bounce back, defeating GMU on their home court, 5-2. The women, however, dropped both match-ups, falling to the No. 2 ranked, Pa­triot League powerhouse Navy 6-1 and the George Mason Patriots, 7-0. This gives the men a 5-9 record and the women a 3-10 record this season.

First, the women kicked things off, find­ing early success versus the Mids Saturday. First-year Alex Petrini and junior captain Stephanie Brown stepped up to secure the No. 1 doubles victory over Navy’s Das and Griffin, 8-6, hoping to set the tone for the rest of the match. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to follow suit, falling in the next two doubles matches, 8-1, 8-3. Without the important doubles point, the women en­tered singles with a deficit that would prove to be impossible to overcome.

Unfortunately, Colgate was only able to take home one victory in singles play, giv­ing the Midshipmen an easy win over the young Colgate squad. Petrini took home her second victory of the day, continuing her impressive play this season. The rookie defeated Navy’s Emani Decuir at No. 2 in convincing straight sets by 6-2, 6-3. Despite Petrini’s success, the Raiders could not over­come the talented Mids and dropped five of the six singles matches to lose by an overall score of 6-1.

The women returned to action on Sun­day in Fairfax, Va. versus the George Mason Patriots, but could not overcome the prior day’s defeat. The women did not win a single match, falling again by a score of 7-0.

The men’s squad had a bit more success this weekend, despite falling to their Patriot League foe on the Mids’ home turf Saturday. First, the men competed in doubles play, dropping No. 1 and No. 2 in rare losses for the Raiders. At No. 3, the sophomore duo of Alec Goldstein and Parker Lewis battled Navy’s Heward Drayton and Jeremy New all the way to a tiebreaker, but could not hold off the pair, ultimately being edged 8-7, 7-4.

Despite the loss of the doubles point, the men bounced back for singles in hopes of overcoming the early deficit. Goldstein con­tinued to play well, defeating Navy’s Nicho­las Gutsche decisively by 6-4, 6-4. At No. 4, Ruslan Goussiatnikov was able to fight back after splitting the first two sets, securing the victory with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 score. While first-year Bobby Berkowitz was not able to bring home a victory for the Raiders at No. 2, he battled to the finish in a three-set tie-breaker dropping the match by 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8). While the men showed guts and spir­it, they were unable to defeat their Patriot League rival, falling to the Midshipmen 5-2.

On Sunday, Colgate took on George Mason hoping to redeem itself after the loss the day before. The Raiders got off to a terrific start, sweeping all three doubles matches for the first point of the day. At No. 1, captains Goussiatnikov and senior Phil Bernasek showed their strength, besting the Patriots, 8-4. Lewis and Goldstein followed their lead to secure the doubles point with an 8-4 win at No. 2, while sophomore Luke Gensburg and junior Sean Spellberg sealed the deal, taking the third spot with a decisive 8-3 victory.

In singles, the Raiders continued to dominate, winning four of the six matches. At No. 1, Gensburg continued his excellent season play, winning the first set 6-3 and tak­ing the match after his opponent was forced to retire in the second set due to injury. At No. 2, Berkowitz secured his fifth singles win of the season, besting Mason’s McMillen in straight sets, 6-2, 7-6. Colgate sealed the vic­tory with wins at No. 3 and No. 4, as Gold­stein and Goussiatnikov defeated Patriot rivals in straight sets, Goldstein by a score 6-4, 7-6 and Goussiatnikov by a margin of 6-4, 6-3.

The Colgate tennis teams return to ac­tion this upcoming weekend with a series of Patriot League matches at their home court in Turning Stone against Bucknell on Satur­day and Lafayette on Sunday. The women’s matches will begin at 10:00 a.m., to be followed at 2:00 p.m. by the men.