The Geneseo tennis team continued their strong start to the season on Tuesday Sept. 22, defeating SUNY Oneonta 9-0. The Knights only allowed Oneonta to win 11 total games throughout the match. Having strong senior leadership from doubles partners Cat Crummey and Marylen Santos, the Knights have been able to make sure that their opponents all walk away with losses. Having won every match of the season so far, the team looks to keep that streak going.
“Keeping the intensity up for every match … not taking any opponent too lightly [is the key to keeping the momentum up],” head coach Jason Stephens said. It’s worked for them so far this season. They started their dominating march first by defeating Nazareth College, following that victory with another against SUNY Oswego and then with another win against SUNY Brockport. They then beat SUNY Fredonia and Oneonta—all 9-0.
Throw in their stellar finishes at the Mary Hosking Invitational Tournament and the St. Lawrence Tournament and the Knights are on top of the tennis world right now. The leadership of the seniors on the team is what Stephens attributes as the key factor in the team’s impressive start to the season.
“The seniors—especially Cat [Crummey] and Marylen [Santos]—have done a great job making sure that the rest of the girls stay focused,” Stephens said. “They make sure that everyone is ready to compete when the match starts.”
Even though the Knights’ record is spotless so far this season, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement.
“So far, we only had one real hiccup and that was at St. Lawrence [University],” Stephens said. “We took one team too lightly and it cost us in doubles. I think that the team has learned that lesson and doesn’t want to see it happen again.”
He’s right. Taking the competition too lightly can make any team falter—no matter what sport is being played. The ability, however, to see that everyone starts on the same playing field—and that anyone can win on any day—is what really separates the mediocre teams from the stellar teams. Even though this is just a small area for the team to improve upon, the Knights are determined to hold on to their spot atop the SUNYAC Conference.
The Knights return to action on Friday Sept. 25 against SUNY New Paltz before heading to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Tournament at William Smith College. These matches will be highly indicative of how the rest of their season will unfold.