The Geneseo tennis team finished off on Oct. 3 and Saturday Oct. 4 with dominating wins over SUNY Cortland and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Geneseo was clearly a stronger team than Cortland, but appeared fairly evenly-matched with RPI. “It was important to see us play against Cortland,” head coach Jim Chen said. Chen made an adjustment with how he played his doubles teams.
His strategy seemed to work, as the Knights dominated the Red Dragons 9-0. The Knights finished off Cortland as juniors Marylen Santos and Mai Hashimoto brought their games together in doubles, dominating their opponents 8-3. Junior Cat Crummey and senior Amanda Rosati won their doubles match 8-1, as the new duo put on a clinic against Cortland’s second team of doubles. Senior Minxuan Yuan and sophomore Maggie Hale also beat their competitors 8-4.
The Knights overpowered the Engineers as well—sweeping them in doubles play. Hashimoto and Santos paired up and played extremely well, topping their opponents 8-2. Pairs Rosati and Crummey and Yuan and Hale both defeated their respective opponents 8-2.
According to Chen, RPI is a strong team and usually matches up well with Geneseo. Chen said that this match would be a good prediction to how the Knights would play in the NCAA Tournament. Their domination of RPI is a promising sign that the Knights could play well in their postseason tournaments.
“We have to remain hungry bears, not happy campers,” Chen said. “We want to make it to the later rounds of the NCAA tournament.”
As with many other teams, the tennis team tries to focus on how they play as opposed to their record on the court.
“We need to stay relaxed and focused, focusing on concentration and execution,” Chen said. Having so much success brings added pressure to a team and Chen uses his philosophy of execution and communication to counteract the nerves that a seemingly predetermined fate could bring to his team.
With both confidence and levels of intensity higher than ever, the Knights are ready to continue dominating SUNYAC competition. Hopefully, they can improve upon last year and go even further—this is the deepest team Geneseo has had in a while. The Knights are looking for their third consecutive SUNYAC Championship, which would be their fourth in five years.
The SUNYAC Tournament begins on Friday Oct. 10 at the Binghamton Tennis Center against SUNY Plattsburgh.