For the fourth time in five years, the Geneseo tennis team has brought the SUNYAC title home. The team finished off with an excellent 10-0 season, led by juniors Marylen Santos and Cat Crummey. “The maturity of the team is extremely high,” head coach Jim Chen said.
The Knights blew through the competition at the SUNYAC championship, sweeping the tournament. They outplayed the strong SUNY New Paltz team in the final match, showing the Knights’ dedication and work ethic that Chen has pushed them to develop since August.
“We wanted to dominate in competitive matches,” he said.
The Knights are in for a tough schedule in the spring—Chen wants them to play a higher level of competition in order to prepare for a run at the NCAA National Championship. New York University, St. Lawrence University, Hamilton College and the University of Rochester are just a few of the teams that the Knights will square up against next semester. Despite formidable opponents, Chen stated that the team has confidence that it can keep up the level of dominant play.
“They have really become elite tennis players,” he said.
Seniors Dexuan Yuan, Minxuan Yuan and Amanda Rosati want to make a run at the National Championship in their final campaign as Knights. They will look to set an example for young players like sophomore Maggie Hale and freshmen Anika Pornpitaksuk and Lauren Salzano in the spring to show how impressive the Knights tennis team can be.
The Knights will work in the offseason in order to improve things like foot speed and shot tolerance. Chen will create optional workouts for the whole team to do, as well as some activities that the girls will do on their own. Jump-roping will be a significant exercise for the team, helping the players to maintain their cardio and agility in the offseason.
“It’s a 24/7 job,” Chen said about the offseason. “I will be recruiting and thinking strategy for the next six weeks in the Virgin Islands.” Chen’s dedication to success is evident in the fact that even on a vacation, he is striving to make the 10-0 Knights even better.
Geneseo’s tennis team has a perfect concoction of experience, maturity, depth, youth and excellent coaching. Look for the Knights to do big things come springtime. A major run at an NCAA title may very well be in store for this team, something that will be fun to watch and experience for the entire Geneseo campus and community.