September 27, 2020

Eagles end Lions’ undefeated streaks

The dreams of a perfect season came to an end for the men’s and women’s tennis teams, which suffered their first losses of the year against the University of Mary Washington Eagles.

The men’s No. 1 singles featured two nationally ranked players, with Lions junior Michael Klimchak falling to Eagles sophomore Jon James 6-1, 6-1. This was Klimchak’s first dual match loss of the year. Junior Roger Mosteller lost at No. 2 singles to sophomore Randy Loden.

It wasn’t a total loss for Klimchak and Mosteller, who teamed up to earn a win for No. 1 doubles. The duo bested Loden and freshman Zach Detweiler to advance their record to 13-2.

“Overall, I’d have to say that it was a disappointing weekend,” Klimchak said. “Things just didn’t go our way. But I’m confident that we’re going to bounce back from this. That’s just the kind of team we are.”

Freshman Jeremy Eckardt was an all-around winner for the Lions, winning in both No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles with sophomore James Vance.

The men’s team record stands at 6-1 overall.

The outlook for the women’s team, ranked No. 29 in the nation, looked good as freshman Jackie Shtemberg came out on top in No. 1 singles, grabbing two-of-three sets for the win over sophomore Stephanie Kurti.

Meanwhile, junior Cristina Contrafatto held a 6-3, 6-2 win in No. 2 singles over sophomore Rebecca Morse-Karzen.

However, the wins by Shtemberg and Contrafatto were not enough as the Eagles, ranked No. 11 in the nation, pulled a 6-3 victory over the Lions. Shtemberg and Contrafatto lost in a tough doubles match, 9-8 (7-3).

“We knew it was a tough team going in,” Contrafatto said. “We just wanted to put up a fight. We were actually up on them at first, and then they put pressure on us and they came back.”

The women’s tennis team now holds an 8-1 record after ending its 10-match win streak dating back to April 12, 2006.

The Lions play again on March 31 with the men’s team starting at 10 a.m. and the women’s team beginning at 1 p.m.

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