Tennis opens spring schedule, dominates Roberts Wesleyan

The SUNYAC champion Geneseo women’s tennis team continued its strong fall play into the spring, opening its season with a 9-0 win over Division II Roberts Wesleyan College on April 3.

“It’s nice to have a 9-0 win to start things off,” head coach Jim Chen said. “The weather has been conducive to us playing outside so we get a little more practice time in March.”

Geneseo continued its strong doubles play, winning all three matches, despite losing one of its top pairings. Freshmen Shiho and Kaho Sato are studying abroad and unable to compete this season. The pair went 10-2 in doubles play during the fall season.

Seniors Monica Vieth and Julia Passik returned to first doubles, winning 8-5. Another seniors duo of Katie Gayvert and Reggie Connelly won second doubles, 8-1. Junior Katie Talbot and freshman Zakiyyah Abdus-Salaam took third doubles, 8-0.

“We spend a lot of time on doubles strategy and it shows. If we can get up 3-0, it’s a wonderful start,” Chen added. “[Talbot and Abdus-Salaam] have absorbed our attacking style of doubles.”

The Knights didn’t let up in singles play, taking all six matches. Vieth and Passik took first and third singles, respectively. Vieth won in straight sets, 6-2, 10-5. Passik and freshman Dexuan Yuan in second singles were the only matches that extended to three sets.

Geneseo controlled fourth, fifth and sixth singles. First year Amanda Rosati won fourth singles, 6-2, 6-4. Junior Sarah Shields also won fifth singles in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1. They both remain undefeated on the campaign. Talbot also won sixth singles in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

“[Shields] and [Talbot] at five and six [are] strong,” Chen said.

Despite the win, Chen said that he believes the team still has room to improve as they prepare for the NCAA tournament with a difficult spring schedule.

“We have some work to do to be as sharp as we want,” Chen added. “Everyone recognizes there’s always improvement to be made. In terms of mechanics, we will have each student identify what needs to be worked on. Shots aren’t as crisp as they like.”

The Knights are now 12-1 on the year. They next compete at New York University on April 14.