Geneseo tennis improved to 6-1 on the season when the team claimed a 7-2 victory over the No. 14-ranked University of Rochester on Thursday Sept. 20. The win marked just the third time in 12 meetings that the Knights beat the YellowJackets.
Head coach Jim Chen described the victory as a “resounding win … This says to me that we are back.”
Going into the match Chen said that the team was “confident we could put our best foot forward.”
This assurance was immediately visible as the team jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after doubles play.
Senior Katie Talbot and freshman Mare Santos eked out an 8-5 win at first doubles and improved to 6-1 as a pair this season.
Geneseo played Rochester’s first doubles pairing in the Mary Hoskins Invitational on Sept. 8-9, and Chen said that this helped him learn some of Rochester’s styles and tendencies.
“We learned that [Rochester’s Frances Tseng] did not like playing at the net … [so] we knew that she was going to stay back,” Chen said.
In comparison, Chen said “there’s only one position that’s aggressive and that’s at the net … We played there 85 percent of the time.”
Sophomores Dexuan and Minxuan Yuan found their form at second doubles and won, 8-2.
Senior Sarah Shields and sophomore Amanda Rosati lost their first doubles match of the year when Rochester escaped narrowly with a 9-7 win in third doubles.
Santos was faced with the tough task of taking on Tseng, ranked No. 20 nationally, at first singles.
Though she lost 2-6, 4-6, Chen said “[she] did a heck of a job… She lost in the end, but she put up a good fight.”
Santos’ loss was Geneseo’s last of the day, as the Knights seized the remaining five singles points.
Dexuan Yuan took home a convincing 6-1, 6-1 victory at second singles. Chen said there were no concerns about Dexuan Yuan, who injured her shoulder in a match against SUNY New Paltz on Sept. 14, adding that she was “100 percent back.”
Talbot and Rosati were both pushed to super tiebreakers, but each prevailed in the end. Talbot won 6-4, 5-7 (9) at third singles, while Rosati escaped with a 6-4, 2-6 (6) win at fourth singles.
Shields, who was unable to compete in Geneseo’s match against SUNY Fredonia on Sept. 19 due to her student-teaching obligations, returned to win 6-3, 6-0 at fifth singles.
Sophomore Zakiyyah Abdus-Salaam won 6-1, 6-0 at sixth singles and remains undefeated on the season with eight wins.
Going forward Chen said that the team is “quietly confident,” but that it is focused on its final two matches and will use them as a final gauge of the team members’ abilities.
Geneseo will play its last home match of the season on Friday Sept. 28, when the team will host the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. It will then close out the regular season on the road against SUNY Cortland on Sunday Sept. 30.