The women’s tennis team ended the fall portion of its schedule with qualifying and opening-round losses in singles and doubles competitions.
The women’s tennis team competed in both singles and doubles competition in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association tournament in its final fall matches this past weekend at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., but came up short of coach Steve Mauro’s expectations.
“We were definitely expecting more out of this tournament,” Mauro said.
In singles competition, senior Anastasiia Rukavyshnykova lost her opening-round match against Maryland’s Lisa Miller in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.
The doubles team of juniors Lucie Pazderova and Theresa Stangl lost its qualifying match to juniors Catherine Keller and Isabell Raich of Marshall.
All three did win their respective consolation bracket matches to end the tournament and fall season on a high note.
“We were really in a tough region,” Mauro said. “There wasn’t much else we could do. All of the girls gave it their all. It was an eight-hour bus ride the day of the tournament. Maybe if we had come in a day earlier, we would have played better. I’m not sure. I’m not overly concerned. We have been juggling lineups since the loss of senior leader Elyse Steiner.”
Steiner tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the Cissey Leary Invitational back in September, forcing Mauro to put players in roles they may not have been used to.
“We played pretty well [considering the injury],” Mauro said. “We were testing out many combinations, and everyone worked really hard. We have a very talented group, and I expect really good things in the future.”
The spring season begins Jan. 23, 2010 at Dartmouth, and Mauro said he holds high expectations for the team. The women finished second in the Atlantic Ten Conference last year.
“Our main goal is to win the Atlantic 10,” Mauro said. “We finished second last year, and I feel really strongly that we can win the conference. We will be playing in some tournaments against major competition that will really help us in the long run.”
The addition of freshman May Johnson, a Top 20 player in the 18-and-under category in Australia, will aid the team in that quest.
“She is going to make a major impact,” Mauro said. “We can’t wait to get her on campus.”
Filip and Kacper Rams entered the competition undefeated in doubles competitions but lost, 9-8, to Virginia, in the second round.
Filip and Kacper Rams, a sophomore and freshman, respectively, on the men’s tennis team, headed into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals to face 20 of the Top 100 players in the country. They may have entered doubting how good they really are, but when they left, coach Steve Mauro said they knew they could compete with some of the best players in the country.
The brothers entered the tournament undefeated on the season in doubles competitions.
“They played very well so far, and I was really confident in what they could do,” Mauro said.
They put away the Longwood team of David Caruso and Nobu Tanaka easily in the first round of doubles, 8-3.
Then, on short rest, the Rams brothers took on the top team in the tournament – senior Houston Barrick and junior Sanam Singh from the University of Virginia. They lost a close match, 9-8, but were actually up in the set, 7-4, before the Cavaliers made a comeback.
“They were the talk of the tournament,” Mauro said after the match. “If they had won that match, they would have been ranked in the Top 10 in the country as doubles.”
Last week, Mauro said that Filip Rams had been nursing a groin injury, but he did not use that as an excuse.
“He said he was fully recovered,” Mauro said.
The brothers also competed in singles competitions in the tournament.
Kacper Rams entered as an unranked player and lost his opening-round match to junior Graham Knowlton of Maryland in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.
“He just wasn’t on,” Mauro said. “He didn’t have his backhand working.”
Filip Rams was the 21st-ranked player in the tournament and received a first-round bye. In his first match, he defeated junior Benjamin Chomette of Old Dominion in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.
Filip, however, then fell to Virginia sophomore Drew Courtney, the No. 8 player in the tournament, 6-2, 7-6.
“Courtney was really on with his serve,” Mauro said. “On a different day, I feel Filip could have beaten him.”
The Owls wrap up their fall slate next weekend in Ithaca, N.Y., when they take on Cornell.
Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.