The Geneseo tennis team continued to impress at the United States Tennis Association/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Regional Tournament from Saturday Sept. 26–Monday Sept. 28. The Knights had finalists in both the doubles and singles bracket, with senior duo Cat Crummey and Marylen Santos losing a three set match 1-6, 6-4, 1-6.
Freshman Mako Tanaka put up a valiant effort in her three set loss 1-6, 6-3, 5-7. The two second-place finishes were the highest that the Knights have ever placed in their three-year history of playing at the tournament.
The Knights can partly attribute their success at the tournament to the stellar leadership from their seniors, who have done a great job providing continuity for the younger players. With head coach Jason Stephens in his first year, the seniors on this team are a big part of how the team is able to remain so consistent.
“Our senior girls—Cat Crummey, Marylen Santos, Mai Hashimoto—they’ve all done a great job this year of nurturing the younger players and motivating them,” Stephens said. “Everyone gets along and works hard toward our goal.”
The outstanding teamwork comes from more than just the seniors, however. The Knights have a strong underclassmen group. The team is nearly 67 percent underclassmen, so they must make sure that opponents know that they are not to be underestimated. As the season has gone on, that message has become clear.
The Knights also had a SUNYAC Conference match against SUNY New Paltz on Friday Sept. 25. The Knights beat the Hawks 9-0 and continued their domination over SUNYAC competition this season. The Knights’ victory over New Paltz only confirmed what Stephens has been enforcing in his coaching.
“I’ve been telling the girls all season, they have a shot at being one of—if not the best—teams in SUNY Geneseo history,” Stephens said. “That’s how good I believe we are.”
Stephens’ belief isn’t unfounded. The Knights have proven again and again this season that they are the top team in the conference.
Even though the Knights still have a few matches left before they begin their march toward a SUNYAC title, Stephens is focused on the championship.
“Our goal we set out to have at the beginning of the season has been to win the SUNYACs,” Stephens said. “I think that our play so far has really put us in a good position to do just that.”
The team sits atop the conference with only two matches left in their regular season. If anyone is able to keep up this impressive streak, it will be the Knights.