New Paltz downs Geneseo tennis by one match

The SUNY New Paltz women’s tennis team avenged its loss from the 2011-2012 SUNYAC championship game with a defeat over the Knights 5-4, on Friday Sept. 14.

The Knights trailed New Paltz early 2-1 after doubles play. Freshman Mare Santos and senior Katie Talbot lost first doubles 4-8 while sophomores Minxuan and Dexuan Yuan fell at second doubles 7-9. The match marked the first time this year the twins had played second doubles, as the pair usually takes on third doubles.

Senior Sarah Shields and sophomore Amanda Rosati took the lone doubles win for the Knights, taking third doubles in a tight 8-6 victory.

The Knights’ top players faltered in singles as well, dropping first, second and third singles. Santos played in one of the closer matches of the day, but was unable to come away with a victory at first singles, losing 5-7, 3-6.

Dexuan Yuan, who was hampered by a tweaked muscle in her shoulder, never challenged her opponent in second singles and lost 1-6, 2-6. Talbot also struggled in her match at third singles, losing 4-6, 1-6.

The bottom half of the team fared much better. Rosati took home fourth singles 6-1, 6-4 and Shields followed suit with a 6-4, 6-2 win at fifth singles. Sophomore Zakiyyah Abdus-Salaam dropped the first set of her match at sixth singles, but fought back to win 5-7, 7-5 (3).

Going into the match, head coach Jim Chen said, “As a team, we were confident … [even though] New Paltz basically had their team intact [from last season].” Despite the loss, Chen said his team would not make any excuses.

“The team said it will get us ready for SUNYACs … and from that point of view, [it] may be a positive in the long run,” he said.

The Knights reflected their positive attitude the next day, when Geneseo bounced back from defeat to sink SUNY Oneonta on the road 8-1.

Santos and Talbot returned to form at first doubles, winning 8-4. Santos went on to narrowly win first singles 6-4, 7-5 while Talbot cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory at third singles.

Dexuan and Minxuan Yuan played second doubles once again, this time coming out on top 8-3. Chen said that Dexuan Yuan received treatment for her shoulder before and during the match, enabling her to play much better as a result. She went on to win second singles 6-0, 6-1.

Shields and Rosati won third singles once again, this time 8-2. Rosati went on to lose fourth singles 1-6, 4-6. Shields improved to 10-0 on the season when she won a perfect 6-0, 6-0 at fifth singles. Geneseo recognized Shields as the “Athlete of the Week” for her solid play.

Abdus-Salaam capped the day for Geneseo when, like Shields, she won 6-0, 6-0 at sixth singles.

Alumni, including Vivian Cheung, ‘09, Reggie Connelly, ’12, and Julia Passik, ’12, visited the Knights over the weekend. Chen said it was “great to have their support … [and was] a wonderful show of what they thought of tennis [while] at Geneseo.”

Editor’s note: