Tennis scores two gritty wins, remains undefeated

Things looked bleak Tuesday for women's tennis first doubles as junior Erika Pumple was forced to serve underhand due to a rotator cuff strain, with Nazareth's first team poised to capitalize.

Fortunately, her partner was freshman Julia Passik. Thanks to Passik's volleying, a focus of this week's practice, Passik and Pumple were able to take control of the match with an 8-6 win. Passik also proved that she deserved her Geneseo athletic department's Player of the Week award when she dominated at third singles, with a 6-1, 6-1 win.

On Friday, the Knights took on fellow SUNYAC frontrunner New Paltz, winning 7-2. Followed by an 8-1 drubbing of Nazareth College on Tuesday, only one point was lost when Pumple withdrew from first singles because of her shoulder.

In both matches, the doubles play was the strong point of the team. All three pairs won, extending their unbeaten streak to open the season to six.

On Friday against New Paltz, Pumple and Passik won 8-5, senior Vivian Cheung and freshman Katie Gayvert took 8-2 at second, and freshmen Melissa Baker and Lauren Johnson won 8-3 at third.

Nazareth was much the same, as Cheung and Gayvert won 8-5, and Baker, playing with junior Anna Lehet as fill-in for injured Lauren Johnson, won third at 8-1.

"They have learned how to cover the court quite naturally, moving together as if on a string," said coach Jim Chen, adding, "its really an aggressive style of play, similar to that of professionals."

The singles have not been slouching much either. Singles second through fifth won this week. Against New Paltz, Cheung went 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) at second, Passik cruised 6-0, 6-1 at third, Lehet sailed 6-1, 6-1 at fourth, and sophomore Molly Dingly won at fifth 6-2, 6-4.

Every completed singles match went the Knights' way against Nazareth as well. Second through fifth remained constant as Cheung won 6-2, 6-4, Passik 6-1, 6-1, Lehet 6-1, 6-3, Dingly 7-5, 6-2, and at sixth Baker responded magnificently to her New Paltz loss with a convincing line of 6-1, 6-1.

The Knights take on RIT in Rochester on Sept. 25, their last match before a week-long break during which coach Chen is, "looking forward to resting our players before our final conference matches against Cortland and Oswego."