Securing a 6-0 record for its season so far, the women's tennis team blanked yet another opponent and faced its first difficult competition over the weekend.
The Friday, Sept. 17 competition versus the SUNY New Paltz Hawks presented the Knights' first challenge of the season. The match lasted over four hours, but Geneseo came out on top, 6-3.
Close losses in the first doubles, 8-5; third singles, 6-4, 6-2; and fourth singles, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (3) didn't stop the Knights from clinching the win with junior Monica Vieth on top at first singles, 6-2, 6-0. At second singles, freshman Lucy Mehrabyan recovered a victory with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Respectively in fifth and sixth singles, sophomores Sarah Shields (6-0, 6-1) and Katie Talbot (4-6, 6-3, 6-1) won their matches. Head coach Jim Chen commended Mehrabyan and Talbot for their crucial performances. "Lucy and Katie came through with flying colors in these deciding matches," he said. "Even though they had lost the first set, they buckled down."
In doubles play, second slotted junior Melissa Baker and Mehrabyan teamed to defeat their opponents 8-0 and in third doubles, junior Katie Gayvert joined Shields for an 8-4 victory.
On the following day, the team remained undefeated with its victory over the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons in an 8-0 triumph.
Vieth won her first singles match 6-0, 6-2 and teamed with junior Julia Passik (third singles, 6-2, 6-2) to win first doubles, 8-6. Baker took second singles 7-5, 6-1 and joined Talbot for a second doubles win, 8-6. In sixth singles, Talbot won 6-1, 6-1.
To round out doubles, Gayvert (fourth singles) and Shields (fifth singles) went 8-3 while taking their singles matches 6-1, 6-0 and 6-3, 6-0, respectively.
"We thought the Oneonta match would be more difficult than it ended up being," Chen said. "[The team's] maturity was what led us to a win at New Paltz."
Chen considers this season to be in its "second phase," a period that will continue for the next three matches, beginning Monday, Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. against Rochester Institute of Technology - the team's first home match. "I look forward to a good match but I think we'll prevail," he said. The next two matches will be against the University of Rochester and SUNY Cortland.
"[The upcoming matches] are certainly a step up in competition," Chen said. "If we go without paying attention, we will lose."
Chen said that the team's recent success has been especially rewarding for him. "It was nice to see the smiles [as we went] back on the bus," he said, adding that the team requested a dinner outing to celebrate following one of the matches. "These are the kind of experiences I think students remember forever."