Tennis dominates SUNYAC opponents

Women's varsity tennis proved it is a head above the competition so far in a round-robin SUNAYC West tournament held at SUNY Fredonia beginning Sept. 10.

The Knights faced the SUNY Brockport Gold Eagles first, winning 9-0. During first singles, junior Monica Vieth played a solid 6-0, 6-0 match but was certainly not the only team member to blank her opponent. Freshman Lucy Mehrabyan at second singles and sophomore Katie Talbot in the sixth slot both followed suit. Junior Julia Passik won 6-4, 6-3 in third singles; junior Katie Gayvert captured fourth singles 6-0, 6-1 and sophomore Sarah Shields won fifth singles 6-0, 6-1.

Doubles play was equally as successful on Friday as Vieth and Passik took the first spot 8-4; Mehrabyan and Melissa Baker won 8-1 at second doubles; and third doubles team Shields and Gayvert stood out with a 8-0 win.

"We came together as a team and won those matches pretty handily," said head coach Jim Chen of the women's success.

The team remained undefeated after Saturday's contest against the tournament host, Fredonia's Blue Devils. Starting off the day with an 8-0 victory by Passik and Vieth in the first doubles spot, the Mehrabyan-Baker duo outshined the opponents 8-2, and Gayvert and Shields took third doubles 8-0.

Vieth in first singles yet again took the match 6-0, 6-0. In second singles, Mehrabyan achieved the same score and Passik came close with a 6-2, 6-0 win in third. Gayvert found the win in the fourth singles spot, 7-5, 6-1. Shields, in fifth singles, won 6-2, 6-0. Rounding out the match, Talbot took sixth, 6-2, 6-0.

The Knights could not be stopped on Sunday in their final match against SUNY Oswego. They lost a total of only five games in exhibition play. With the same line-up, all three doubles teams won 8-1. Still dominating the match, Vieth lost her only game of the weekend in a 6-1, 6-0 victory at the first slot; Gayvert won fourth singles 6-1, 6-0; and the rest of the women, with the same roster, won their matches 6-0, 6-0.

Though only seven of the women competed in exhibition matches during the tournament, the team is comprised of 15 members. According to Chen, the rest of the teammates showed the western SUNY schools their depth over the weekend. Chen said that in total, the Knights played and won 42 matches.

"The exhibition players are also doing well," Chen said. "It's not as easy to point out who is steam rolling because they all are."

The team can boast a 4-0 record, but Chen was quick to note that the next phase of the season will prove more difficult. The team will travel to SUNY New Paltz on Friday, and from there the competition stiffens.

"There is a sense of accomplishment on the team," said Chen. "We can talk about the scores but we don't want to sound overconfident - we know it gets more difficult." Chen said the team hopes to alleviate the impending struggle by going over the strengths and weaknesses of individual players and of the team as a whole.

While the team is practicing tennis hard and discretion harder, a sense of pride is inevitable. "We feel that we're holding our own - maybe even a little bit better than that," said Chen. "We are happy to be representing the college and doing well. We're not just a tennis team, but we are the Geneseo tennis team."