The Geneseo women's tennis team defeated St. Bonaventure University's Division I team 5-4 on Monday at home, improving to 14-1 with their first win of the spring season.
Geneseo took the lead by winning two out of three doubles matches as sophomores Melissa Baker and Lauren Johnson won second doubles 8-5, and senior Anna Lehet and freshman Sarah Shields teamed up to win third doubles 8-3.
Lehet, who is primarily a singles player, was recently added to the third doubles team in the spring due to an injury. "I owe it to the team to step up as a senior and captain," Lehet said. "Getting the win feels really good."
"Sarah really holds down that part of her doubles partnership real well," said head coach Jim Chen. "It's a testament to their ability to play in a collaborative effort." Shields' record on the season is 35-1 and 18-0 in doubles matches.
Geneseo was able to take three out of the six singles matches to get the 5-4 win. Singles winners were Lehet in fourth singles 6-3, 7-6, (7-5); Shields in fifth singles 6-1, 6-1 and Johnson in sixth singles 6-1, 6-0.
"Lauren is a premiere doubles player," Chen added. "But she was able to step right in even though doubles is her forte." Johnson was forced to step into singles matches because of an injury.
"Our lineup has depth, that is clear," Chen said. "There are games where the one, two and three singles win it for us and games where the four, five and six win it."
In first singles, sophomore Monica Vieth lost a very tight match. Vieth won the first set 6-0 and had several chances to win the second set before losing in the third set.
"Monica played phenomenal the first set," Chen said. "She blew her opponent away."
Both Chen and Lehet said they believe that competing against and defeating a Division I opponent will be great for the team heading into nationals.
"It gives us the confidence we need," Lehet said. "Knowing that we are able to compete with a D-I team shows us we should be at nationals."
"We had a letdown in intensity against [the University of Rochester]. That loss really woke us up," Chen said. "It feels really good having beating a D-I team. Our intensity level is up and I hope it carries over into nationals."
Geneseo's next match is Saturday, April 24, on the road against Hamilton College.