By Rohan Ahluwalia
With only a couple of weeks of the season left to play, the women’s tennis team continued its undefeated season last week, earning two victories. At the same time, the men’s team claimed two more wins before enduring a 6-3 loss against New York University on Sunday, April 8.
The women began with a sweeping 9-0 victory over the State University of New York Geneseo at home on Friday, April 6, before defeating Ithaca College, 7-2, Saturday, April 7.
Against SUNY Geneseo, the women dominated in doubles competition, winning all three matches in straight sets. Juniors Sneha Rangu and Alyssa Baldi continued their perfect partnership, taking an 8-2 victory.
Senior Maddy Stoner then partnered with sophomore Audrey Chen to claim an 8-0 victory. The last doubles match resulted in a forfeit, which gave the College a 3-0 lead going into singles.
In singles competition, the women won all five matches in straight sets. Rangu defeated Salzano in straight sets of 6-0 before senior Brittany Reedman defeated Lam-Tran in 6-2 and 6-1 sets. Stoner then earned a victory over Dana Sorrentino while Baldi also won in straight sets, 6-0, over Gretchen Ayoub. Sophomore Sondra Lionetti wrapped up the victory for the Lions, taking a straight set victory, which was Lionetti’s first ever collegiate win.
The next day, the women hosted Ithaca College. Like the day before, Rangu and Baldi continued their unbeatable partnership, taking an 8-5 victory over Ithaca sophomore Brianna Ruback and freshman Sara Steinberg. Chen then partnered with freshman Andrea Giacobbo for an 8-1 victory. Meanwhile, Stoner partnered with junior Grace Minassian but the duo fell short, as they lost, 8-6, to Ithaca junior Caroline Dunn and junior Kathryn Shaffer. In singles, the women managed to win five of their six matches, with all victories coming in straight sets.
“They’ve been playing very well,” said head coach Scott Dicheck. “We got some big matches coming up against teams that are nationally ranked so we got some challenges ahead of us but up to now we’ve been playing great.”
Meanwhile, the men began their week with a dominating 9-0 victory at Muhlenberg College on Friday, April 6. In doubles, junior Matt Puig partnered with sophomore Thomas Wright to earn a 9-8 victory. Juniors Omar Bokhari and Tim Gavornik won, 8-1, which was followed by another victory with the same score from sophomore Gokul Murugesan and freshman Sean Reilly, giving the College a 3-0 lead going into the singles competition.
In singles, junior Mitchel Sanders, Bohkari and Gavornik all won their matches in straight sets. Wright then defeated Muhlenberg sophomore Alex Dagilis before junior Achyuth Balijepalle and freshman Andrew Mok both claimed wins.
The next day, the men edged out Ithaca in a close 5-4 victory. Sanders and Murugesan earned a 8-0 doubles victory against Ithaca sophomores Minos Stavrakas and Colten Lavery, while Gavornik and Bokhari won, 8-1.
In singles, Gavornik, Wright and Balijepalle were the winners for the College, with all three winning their matches in straight sets.
The Lions hosted New York University at the Mercer County Park Commission Tennis Facility. Unfortunately, the men couldn’t make it three victories in a row, as they fell 3-6.
In doubles, Sanders and Reilly were the only victors for the College, winning 8-7. In singles, only Puig and Gavornik could earn victories, both earned in three hard fought sets.
“We’re feeling really confident,” Puig said. “We really competed hard these last couple of days. We’re just going to try to keep the momentum that we have been building over the last couple of weeks and carry it into a tough match coming up this weekend.”
Dicheck looks forward to the team having much needed rest after a busy week.
“We know three in a row is a tough schedule, especially since one of the games was a snow out that we had to redo,” Dicheck said. “I thought the guys played well all weekend. You want to go 3-0 but you go 2-1, but we’re happy. The guys will now get rested up and should be ready for next week.”
The women play their next home match against New York University on Thursday, April 12, starting at 3 p.m. at the outdoor tennis facilities. Afterward, both the men and women travel to Salisbury, Maryland to play against Salisbury University on Sunday, April 15.