The men’s and women’s tennis teams proved over Spring Break that they can take the heat in matches against quality opponents, as the men toured California while the women traveled to Arizona.
The No. 73 women’s team lost matches to No. 27 Arizona St., 7-0, and No. 36 Arizona, 6-1, but defeated Northern Arizona by a score of 5-2 to bring its record to 7-2. Meanwhile, the No. 75 men’s team defeated St. Mary’s, San Francisco, Pacific and Santa Clara before dropping its last match of the trip to Fresno St. The men are now 13-3 heading into their Ivy League season.
[img_assist|nid=22251|title=Teamwork.|desc=Senior tri-captain Dan Brous (right) and junior Rory Heggie (left) compete at No. 2 doubles against Army on Feb. 24.|link=node|align=left|width=87|height=100]
“We had a really good break,” said sophomore Peter Kung. “For the first couple of matches we had to get used to playing outdoor tennis, but we pulled through.”
The Red swept St. Mary’s on Mar. 19, 7-0, to kick off its California campaign. At No. 1 singles, senior tri-captain Nick Brunner came back to win a thriller over Andre Sion, 3-6, 7-6 (1), (10-5), while his doubles partner senior tri-captain Josh Raff defeated Adam Fauvre, 6-4, 7-5 at the No. 2 spot. The pair steamrolled Sion and Fauvre in the top doubles spot, 8-1.
Senior tri-captain Dan Brous allowed his opponent to win only four games, beating Andrea Zannoni at third singles, 6-3, 6-1. He teamed up with junior Rory Heggie to beat Yury Platonov and Achim Christner, 8-4, before Heggie went on to take out Platonov at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 6-2. The sophomore tandem of Kyle Doppelt and Marc Asch sealed the doubles sweep for the Red at the No. 3 spot, defeating Alp Ozpinar and Zannoni in a tiebreak 8-7 (4). In singles, Kung won a three-set match over Christner, 4-6, 7-5, (10- 8) at fifth singles, while No. 6 singles player Jon Fife outlasted Ozpinar, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.
On March 20 the Red rallied to beat San Francisco after being down two matches. Brous, Heggie, Fife, and sophomore Josh Goldstein came through for the Red at third through sixth singles, respectively, to outplay the Dons. The men next defeated Pacific by a score of 5-2 on March 23. The Red leapt to an early start and took the doubles point as Brunner and Raff won at No. 1 doubles, 8-5, and Goldstein and junior Weston Nichols got the victory at No. 2 doubles, 8-6. Raff kept the momentum going, beating Alan Kelly, 6-2, 6-1. At fourth singles, Kung took the first set, 7-5, from Chase Oliphant, and then ran away with the second set, 6-1. Goldstein and Asch each dropped just three games in their fifth and sixth singles matches, cruising to victory over Pedro Toledo, 6-2, 6-1, and Robert Price, 6-1, 6-2, respectively.
On Saturday, the men stole a 4-3 victory from Santa Clara, and then fell to Fresno State, 5-2, in the afternoon.
“Our match against Santa Clara was a really good win because they were a kind of obnoxious team,” Kung said. “They were loud and unlike any team we’ve played before, and it was good to get that energy boost for that match.”
Against Fresno State, Brous and Goldstein walked away with singles wins, while Brunner and Raff won the lone doubles match for the Red.
Meanwhile, the women played strong tennis but ultimately lost to No. 27 Arizona State — a team that features several top-100 singles and doubles players. Sophomore Elizabeth Googe fell to No. 29 Nadia Abdala, 6-1, 6-2, at second singles, but fought a closer doubles match with freshman Susan Sullivan against No. 9 Kady Pooler and Roxanne Clarke, falling 8-4.
“The best thing about playing such tough teams is that when you come back, the other teams seem easier in comparison,” Googe said. “Those are top-20 or -30 teams, and that’s where we want to be.”
Sullivan scored the Red’s only point in its March 22 match against No. 36 Arizona, beating Tina Razloznik at fifth singles, 6-1, 6-4. She and Googe also won their doubles match over Kasia Jakowlew and Natalia Toporowska, 8-4.
“We’ve been playing together this semester and getting better and more comfortable every match,” Googe said. “You really have to get to know your doubles partner’s style and what you can expect from them.”
The Red rebounded, however, to defeat Northern Arizona by a score of 5-2. At No. 1 singles, Googe took out Patrice Biemold, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, while senior co-captain Kasia Preneta beat Katie Schurr, 7-5, 6-0 at second singles. At the No. 3 spot, sophomore Tammy John defeated Leslie Vial, 6-4, 6-1. Sullivan won again at No. 5 singles, this time handily defeating Stacey Pinchbeck, 6-1, 6-3. The Red swept Northern Arizona in doubles, with Googe and Sullivan leading the way at No. 1 doubles, defeating Schurr and Vial, 8-4. Preneta paired with junior Dana Cruite to beat Biemold and Susan McClelland, 8-4, while John teamed up with sophomore Shayna Miller to defeat Regan Newman and Paij Porter, 8-5.
“It helped that we’d played the harder teams earlier in the week,” Googe said. “We really wanted to come home with a win and end on a good note before Ivy season. Everyone was really fired up.”