Second team doubles players senior Amanda Rosati and junior Mai Hashimoto sparked the Knights on Saturday Sept. 27 and Sunday Sept. 28 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Tournament with an unbelievable upset. The pair took down the fourth-seeded duo from William Smith College of junior Katarina Kostovic and sophomore Hannah More 9-8—dominating the A flight champions 7-1 in the tiebreaker. Implementing head coach Jim Chen’s aggressive strategy of attacking the net, they won an unbelievable match against top-tier competitors. The pair was just put together this week by Chen. “They showed a lot of fight,” he said.
Other than Skidmore College, Geneseo advanced the most players (two) in the tournament to the third round of singles. Those two players were junior Cat Crummey and junior Marylen Santos—the unstoppable doubles duo that has embodied the Knights’ play this year: agile, communicative and aggressive.
“They have the ability to make this team fly,” Chen said.
Chen also said that third-team doubles partners sophomore Maggie Hale and senior Minxuan Yuan have used aggressive tactics in combination with their individual skills to boost themselves to an 8-2 record on the season in doubles play.
“I want to win using the correct strategy,” Chen said. To improve their success, the team practices with male tennis players who Chen calls “extremely talented.” The men play aggressively against the girls, giving them intense competition at game speed.
Making an interesting decision, Chen will bring in a sports psychologist this week to figure out why the team is having some difficulty with this new aggressive strategy in doubles.
“Most tennis players coming out of high school are singles players,” Chen said. His strategy contradicts what they have been taught for so many years in regards to how to play the court. His goal is to find the root of the problem and solve it before the SUNYAC Tournament begins on Oct. 10.
The Knights will visit SUNY Cortland on Friday Oct. 3 before playing their final home match before SUNYACs against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. RPI has a skilled team that the Knights will match up against well. This match could truly be a preview of how ready this team is to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.