The women's tennis team took an early lead in its 9-0 shutout of Hamilton College Saturday, improving to 15-2 for the year.
Head coach Jim Chen said that the team spent a great deal of time practicing doubles recently because those matches have been a weakness for the team in the past. The effort paid off Saturday when the women won all three doubles matches. Chen said he was particularly proud of sophomores Monica Vieth and Julia Passik, who won 8-2 in the first doubles match.
"Monica and Julia played fundamental doubles," Chen said. "They absorbed it into their system and it's remarkable to see the turnaround."
Sophomores Lauren Johnson and Melissa Baker won 8-4 in the second doubles match; sophomore Katie Gayvert and freshman Sarah Shields came from behind to win 9-7 in the third match after initially struggling against Hamilton junior Deborah Barany, who dominated the earlier part of the round at the net.
"I told [Gaybert and Shields] we have to get her off the net," Chen said. "They realized what was happening, and got her off the net by using lobs."
Geneseo went on to win all six singles matches. Vieth won first singles in two straight 6-4 sets against Barany. "Barany is a human backboard, she gets everything back," Chen said. "But Monica was on fire. Importantly, she did not beat herself by going for the line. She hit percentage shots time after time."
Baker won second singles 1-6, 6-2 and 10-3 in the only singles match that extended to three sets. Passik won third singles 6-1, 6-2, Senior Anna Lehet won fourth singles 6-1, 6-1; Gayvert won fifth singles 6-4, 6-3; and Shields won sixth singles 6-3, 6-0.
Chen said that he had worked with Passik in practice about using a driving forehand when the opportunity arises, and that the practice paid off. "When an opportunity comes, you must go for a drive," Chen said. "I think Julia was doing it very well. She won pretty handily against a tough player."
Chen commended all the players on their performances at the match and said that he is happy with where they are at this point of the year. He said the team was "a good bunch to work with" and that he will spend most of the remaining practice time on strategy.
The Knights' final regular match of the season will take place Friday at R.I.T. The NCAA tournament begins May 14.