Knights slay Red Dragons to stay undefeated

The women's tennis team, ignoring the unpredictable weather, trounced SUNYAC rival Oneonta 9-0 on Saturday.

Due to the inclement conditions, a match on Friday against New Paltz was postponed, and the match against Oneonta had to be moved from Geneseo to the indoor courts at the Mendon Racquet and Pool Club in Pittsford.

The match Friday was the Knights' chance to rectify a heartbreaking loss to New Paltz in the playoffs last year, when a volley on match point in the decisive third set tiebreak went into the net, essentially eliminating Geneseo from the playoffs and ending their season.

However, despite the nuisance caused raised by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, the team seemed unfazed, sweeping the weekend's remaining match against Oneonta. The win brings their team record to 3-0, while outscoring their opponents now 26-1 on the season.

Play started with doubles action, as first doubles Erika Pumple and Julia Passik were able to preserve a 9-7 victory, despite being forced to take an extra ninth game to win by two.

Second and third doubles were less in doubt, as Vivian Cheung and Katie Gayvert won 8-3 at number two, and the freshman team of Melissa Baker and Lauren Johnson for the third straight match won by the dominant score of 8-1 at number three.

Coach Jim Chen has been very pleased by the play of Baker and Johnson, who are reunited after playing together in high school at Half Hollow Hills East. "They have been a very strong pair for us this year, and I believe they are the top contenders for a SUNYAC championship at third doubles," said Chen.

If the caliber of the play at singles continues, it looks like several individual championships are highly possible. Pumple, who is always matched up with the other teams' best competition, continued her success, winning, 6-0, 6-2, and Cheung won at two, 7-6(7-5), 6-1. Numbers three through six also continued their sheer supremacy of singles action.

Passik won at three, 6-2, 6-2, Anna Lehet won fourth, 6-1, 6-0, Molly Dingley dominated five 6-0, 6-0, and Baker rounded out the day at six 6-4, 6-0.

Coach Chen stressed the play of third through sixth singles as the strength of the team, and the stats back him up. Through the first three matches, they have swept every match, all while outscoring opponents 146-12 in games. At the five spot, Dingley still has yet to lose a game.

However, as nice as individual championships are, the goal for the team this year is a team championship in the SUNYAC's, and a trip to the NCAA tournament. Coach Chen believes that the team's unity, which is tighter than in any other year, gives them a great shot to complete their goal. "[When playing singles] you can hear the support, you can feel the support of the team, and you want to win for the team, not just the individual championships," said Chen.

The players are the first to recognize these benefits, as Cheung pointed out: "Even though tennis is an individual sport, having a team so unified has helped the team succeed individually and collectively."

The team looks to continue to its formula for success this week as they take on a young and dangerous Brockport team Wednesday, and then get their chance against New Paltz in the rescheduled game Friday.