The Knights continued their multiyear run of dominance under head coach Jim Chen as they secured wins against SUNY Oswego and Nazareth College. The Knights are expected to push through their SUNYAC opponents and seem to be on a one-way track to the NCAA Tournament. “I am proud of our team’s execution,” Chen said. “All of our players’ confidence levels are high and we are playing at a midseason level in singles play.”
The Knights cruised in singles play, with all team members shutting out their competitors in at least one game of their respective matches. The Knights singles game has always been great; it’s their doubles game that has gotten them into trouble in postseason play.
The Knights faced Nazareth on Sept. 4 and got a blowout victory on the road. The Golden Flyers were a good match up for the Knights—although Geneseo has come out on top the past two years, the Flyers have always played well. The Knights won 9-0, the same score they had against Oswego.
Japan native and California Orange Coast Community College transfer student junior Mai Hashimoto made her Geneseo debut and dominated, outscoring her opponent 12-1. The unstoppable doubles pair of juniors Cat Crummey and Marylen Santos won in an 8-0 shutout as well. This was the pair’s second shutout in a row.
The Knights showed their full potential in the Hosking Tournament at William Smith College. The only public school that participated, Geneseo won 11 of its 17 singles matches and seven of its 11 doubles matches. The team once again showed its ability to compete with any team on the court.
After playing hard in the tournament, Chen decided that his team deserved a day off from practice. Despite this, several players decided to practice on their own, telling Chen that they “had things to work on” after the tournament.
“I’ve never had a team that was given a day off and responded by requesting access to the practice equipment,” Chen said. The dedication of this team shows their desire to go deep into the NCAA Tournament. Not only is this the deepest team in years at Geneseo, but it’s also the most determined.
The post-tournament practice was a success, as the Knights took down the SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles 9-0. Crummey and Santos once again showed why they are two of the best in the SUNYAC, shutting out their opponents 8-0. The two are undefeated in SUNYAC play this year and have led the team to an undefeated record thus far. The team far outplayed the Eagles, who were overwhelmed by the Knights singles play.
The aggressiveness in doubles play is beginning to come together, Chen’s aggressive “attack the net” game plan is proving too much for opposing teams to handle. The Knights play next on Friday Sept. 12 at SUNY New Paltz.