The Owls began their season Saturday with a 7-0 sweep of La Salle and the Rider University.
In doubles against La Salle, the second flight pairing of Mariana Bedon and junior Dina Karina and the third flight duo of junior Anais Nussaume and senior Minami Okajim blanked La Salle, 8-0. Sophomores Alina Abdurakhimova and Yana Khon finished off doubles-play with an 8-1 win in the first flight.
In singles play, the Owls were led by Nussaume’s 6-0, 6-0 win in the third flight and Abdurakhimova’s 6-0,6-1 first flight victory.
Bedon, Karina and Okajima all won 6-0, 6-0 in the fourth, fifth and sixth flights, respectively, while Khon won the second flight 6-3, 6-0.
Coming into the day the Owls were confident in their ability to defeat the Explorers.
“We did what we had to do. It’s not always easy to start the season off with a weaker team,” said Nussaume. “But everyone stepped up, played their game, and got it finished.”
In the afternoon singles session against Rider, all six of the Owls were victorios.
Last season, the Owls tied the school record with 19 wins, and Nussaume said this year’s team can surpass that mark.
“I think we all agree that the goal for the [spring] season is to not lose one single match, go through the conference and try to win it,” Nussaume said.
Despite the sweep, the Owls were short-handed. Sophomore Monet Stuckey-Willis is unable to play after a stress fracture in her back.
“She’s a real big part of our team, in order for us to really compete against the top teams in the country we are going to need her to be healthy,” Mauro said. “Hopefully she can recover now in the fall, and be 100% starting in January.”
Matthew Parastino can be reached at email@example.com