The women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to five straight after a 5-2 defeat of Albany Saturday, continuing to hit its stride in team play.
In singles, freshmen Alina Abdurakhimova, Yana Khon and Monet Stuckey-Willis each won in straight sets. Sophomore Mariana Bedon added a singles point in her 6–4, 6–4 win.
In Saturday’s match, the Owls started off quicker than in Friday’s match and by doing so, earned the point in doubles play. Coach Steve Mauro changed the team’s warm-up routine, focusing on cross-court points.
“We started off a lot better in doubles,” Mauro said. “Those matches helped us earn the win so I am happy with that … we warmed up a little bit differently before the match by focusing more on cross-court returns and that helped.”
During this winning streak, Mauro hasn’t changed anything with the team’s practice routine and he said that it would not change.
“We need to continue to follow our routine,” Mauro said. “[The routine] at practice has been working and we are going to continue to work on the same schedule.”
The men’s team also played Saturday and defeated Wagner College (N.Y.), 5-2. This marks the first time this season the team has a multi-match win streak.
The Owls continued its strong singles play by winning four of six singles matches, taking three of them in straight sets.
Juniors Nicolas Paulus (6-3, 5-7, 6-0) and Hicham Belkssir, who won in 7-6 (5), 6-4, fought hard to earn their singles points. The Owls also earned singles points from sophomores Filip Stipcic, who won in 6-3, 6-4, and Vineet Naran (6–3, 6–2).
“We came out strong in singles,” Mauro said. “[Junior] Nicolas Paulus bounced back from a tough match yesterday and performed well.”
Mauro wasn’t satisfied with his third-flight doubles pairing, so he switched the pairing for the second day in a row. Mauro said he was pleased with how the new duo played.
“We played well in doubles,” Mauro said. “I switched up the third flight doubles pairing to [junior] Ondre Cargill and [sophomore] Filip Stipcic … I was happy with how they played in their first doubles match together.”
Mauro added that he was pleased with the vocal energy he saw out of his men’s team.
“There was a lot of energy from the guys tonight,” Mauro said. “They were all cheering for each other and I told the guys that I’m liking the direction we are headed in … the atmosphere at the match was great.”
Both teams will play Dayton Feb. 20 on the road.
Dalton Balthaser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DaltonBalthaser.