With higher expectations than ever, the Geneseo women’s tennis team looks to put its skills to the test in back-to-back tournaments. The Knights have been overpowering their opponents of late, bringing their record to an unblemished 5-0. The team has been especially dominant in singles play, largely due to a surplus of talent. The duo of juniors Cat Crummey and Marylen Santos is expected to lead the team in doubles at the Northeast Regional Intercollegiate Tennis Association Tournament at William Smith College on Saturday Sept. 27 and Sunday Sept. 28.
The return of freshman Lauren Salzano from an injury should add even more depth to the team, as she hasn’t seen the court all season. Geneseo has been lucky this season with very few injuries thus far.
The Knights took six of 12 medals as a team at the St. Lawrence University Tournament on Saturday Sept. 20 through Sunday Sept. 21. They way they are playing now it appears that they are easily on their way to an NCAA Tournament bid. Head coach Jim Chen says his players “see the value” of his aggressive philosophy of attacking the net.
“We will remain hungry in the SUNYAC [play],” Chen said. “We are going to keep our foot on the gas pedal.” Chen also said he is “cautiously optimistic” about his team’s dominance thus far this season. He stresses the necessity of preparation for the SUNYAC tournament—not just focusing on winning and losing.
“We’re going to control what we can control, we’re going to execute in the moment,” Chen said. “The winning will come by itself.”
The ITA Tournament should be a breeze for the Knights if they keep up their aggression. The team’s biggest test will be against SUNY New Paltz, who the Knights defeated 7-2 when the two teams met back on Sept. 12. The Hawks were undefeated prior to their match with Geneseo.
As long as the Knights stay hungry, play hard and stick with Chen’s aggressive philosophy, a SUNYAC title will be expected. This team has shown that it can hang with any team in the country—let alone SUNYAC. Still, all of this raises the question of the NCAA Tournament. This has the potential to be one of the best teams Geneseo women’s tennis has ever had, but it won’t mean anything without a deep run next spring.