Tennis team defends SUNYAC title

The Geneseo women's tennis team continued their domination of the SUNYAC conference from Oct. 9-11 as they won the conference championship for the second year in a row, tallying 46 points over the weekend to break last year's record of 42.

Geneseo won all three doubles matches with sophomores Julia Passik and Monica Vieth winning first doubles, sophomores Lauren Johnson and Melissa Baker taking second and sophomore Katie Gayvert and freshman Sarah Shields securing third.

In addition to winning the conference championship, these players also made the 2009 first team All-SUNYAC team.

The Knights also won four of the six singles events. Vieth took first singles, Passik won third singles, finishing the season 10-0, Gayvert won fifth singles and Shields, who also finished undefeated, won sixth singles. Senior Anna Lehet finished second place in fourth singles - her only singles loss of the season - and also received second team All-SUNYAC honors.

Head coach Jim Chen said he was extremely pleased with the team's result, stating that it was a "satisfying team effort." He added that when one sets a record score at the SUNYAC championships, it's "going to feel pretty good."

To help the team prepare for the championships, Chen told the team they could not become complacent at SUNYACs because their opponents will be coming after them.

Chen also reinforced his wounded bear/happy camper analogy that states: If you win the first set, you can't be a happy camper because the wounded bear will be coming after you in the second set. Chen said he believed that this became ingrained in his team's mind since they won many matches in straight sets.

Chen added that another reason for the team's success was the fact that Geneseo had the most players in the competition and it was a "nice atmosphere with all that parental support." He said that one of the most significant accomplishments of the season was getting the first doubles team of Vieth and Passik to play so well together.

Passik missed the first three weeks of the season because of injury so they had to learn to play together quickly. The second doubles team of Baker and Johnson played together in high school so Chen did not have to teach them some of the finer points of doubles play. Chen added that the third doubles team of Gayvert and Shields also learned very quickly and, according to Chen, are "outstanding at covering the court together."

Vieth and Passik did not click at first, but eventually learned how to play doubles together effectively. "The nice thing about it is they won; I know they were pleased," Chen said.

Geneseo has some time off before they start their indoor season in February to prepare for the spring season during which they play a number of difficult teams in preparation for the NCAA tournament.