Tennis teams kick off 2015 season undefeated
The men’s and women’s tennis teams started their winter indoor season off strong last Saturday, with both teams seeing successful results from their home matches. The Big Green men dominated on Saturday, defeating both the State University of New York at Buffalo and Bryant University with respective scores of 7-0 and 6-1. The women’s team clinched a hard-fought victory over Boston College, with a score of 4-3.
The men’s doubles teams proved strong against Buffalo, sweeping all three of their doubles matches. Dartmouth’s No. 1 doubles team of Chris Kipouras ’15 and Dovydas Sakinis ’16 had an exceptional showing, sweeping their match with a score of 6-0. No. 2 singles player Brendan Tannenbaum ’16 and Aman Agarwal ’18 clinched the next doubles match 6-1, followed by Diego Pedraza ’17 and Ciro Riccardi ’18 rounding out the doubles competitions with a 6-2 victory.
The men followed up their doubles performances by shutting out Buffalo with six wins in singles play. Many of the sets won were close, attesting to the physical and mental ability of the men’s team to execute their games. Max Fliegner ‘18 and Riccardi brought in the first two singles victories in straight sets, with Sakinis securing the Big Green’s victory by defeating Buffalo’s Damien David 7-5, 6-3.
The team only grew stronger throughout the day, once again sweeping all three doubles matches in their battle against Bryant. Kipouras and Sakinis repeated their solid doubles performance, coming off the court with a 6-2 win. Max Schmidt ’17 and Sam Todd ’15, as well as freshmen duo Agarwal and Riccardi, also proved to be formidable in doubles, winning their matches 6-4 and 6-3, respectively.
The Big Green went on to win five out of six singles matches in straight sets, with little resistance from Bryant. Tannenbaum forced a tiebreaker, yet was handed the one loss of the day with a score of 4-6, 6-3, 10-8.
Fliegner cited the team’s preparedness as a factor in their success on Saturday.
“We’re able to identify our weaknesses and improve upon them while also using our strengths to their full potential,” he said. “We also do a good job of never taking our competition for granted.”The women’s team opened their season against Boston College with solid performances in both doubles and singles as well.
The No. 2 doubles team of Katherine Yau ’16 and Kristina Mathis ’18 placed the Big Green on the scoreboard, winning their doubles match 6-2, while No. 3 doubles team Julia Schroeder ’18 and Akiko Okuda ’15 also secured a win with a score of 6-2.
In singles play, Taylor Ng ’17 had an impressive showing against Boston College’s Jessica Wacnik, who is ranked No. 1 in the Northeast region. Ng brought home the victory in straight sets, losing only one game in the process, with a final score of 6-1, 6-0. Mathis also fought back from a first set loss to win her match 2-6, 7-5, 7-5, while Schroeder took the third singles win to clinch the victory for Dartmouth, 6-1, 7-6(6).
After a two-month hiatus, Ng is excited to get back on the court and believes that the women’s team hit the ground running this past Saturday, allowing them to win against Boston College.
“Everyone worked hard over the break and was ready to go from the start,” Ng said.
She also attributes the team’s success to its prepared mindset.
“Mental toughness is our greatest strength because it allows us to be positive when things are close,” she said.
The team’s mental strength was especially evident in the close singles matches, with four out of the six singles matches coming to third sets.
When asked about particular concerns for the winter season, Ng cited injuries as a main issue.
“Taking care of ourselves is something that is going to be really important this season,” Ng said. “Winter as a whole is one of the most grueling seasons because of the increased number of matches.”
With five players returning from off-terms, the women’s team has doubled in size this season.
Jacqueline Crawford ’17, who was off last season, expressed enthusiasm about the team dynamic.
“Our coach has been really emphasizing our team being there for one another, and I feel like that support system is really nice when playing such an individual sport,” she said.
Both tennis teams will return to action at home for the Dartmouth Kickoff Classic. The women’s team will square off against Brown University, Cornell University and Mississippi State University on Jan. 24 and 25, while the men’s team will be hosting The University of Denver and Indiana University on Jan. 23 and 24.