Men's tennis takes fifth in ECAC, women sweep weekend

by Mark Cui | 2/16/16 6:30pm

Over the weekend, the No. 34 Dartmouth men’s tennis team played in the ECAC Indoor Championship in Philadelphia, which consisted of St. John’s University and all the Ivy League teams except Columbia University. The team played a total of three teams during the tournament, falling to the University of Pennsylvania in a tough 3-4 battle but rallying to defeat Brown University 4-0 and St. John’s 4-1 to secure fifth place.

On the road, the No. 42 Dartmouth women’s team followed up last week’s solid performance in the ECAC Winter Championship with a close 4-3 victory over No. 49 Boston College and a 7-0 sweep of Boston University.

“It’s a good tournament,” men’s head coach Chris Drake said of the ECAC Indoor Championship. “You get to have a look at all the teams and vice versa. It was very competitive. All the teams there are very close. All the matches were close as well, coming down to a few points here and there. Everyone’s pretty close, so we gotta do what we can to keep improving.”

On Feb. 12, Dartmouth came in to the ECAC Indoor Championship as the second seed and was matched up with the seventh seed and host Penn in the first round. Despite the higher seed, the team lost in a close 3-4 battle, going 2-1 in doubles and 2-4 in singles. Like last week, the Big Green got off to a hot start, with the duos of Max Fliegner ’18 and Max Schmidt ’17 and George Wall ’17 and Brendan Tannenbaum ’16 securing the doubles point with 6-3 and 6-2 victories respectively.

After a close-fought battle, the singles were unable to follow up. Dartmouth’s first four singles all lost across the board, with Dartmouth’s No. 50 Dovydas Sakinis ’16 falling in a tough three-set match against Penn’s Kyle Mautner. Ciro Riccardi ’18, Tannenbaum and Fliegner all followed suit and fell in straight sets. Wall and Schmidt picked up the sole single wins with respective scores of 6-2, 6-4, and 6-4, 6-3.

On the second day of the tournament, Dartmouth followed up the loss to Penn with a 4-0 sweep of Brown, going 2-0 in doubles and 3-0 in singles. Once again, the duos of Wall and Tannenbaum and Fliegner and Schmidt quickly secured the doubles point with 6-1 and 6-3 finishes. Sakinis, Wall and Eddie Grabill ’19 picked up the required three singles wins to take the match, with each victory coming in straight sets. Dartmouth was leading in the other three singles matches, but play was suspended after the Big Green had already secured the match.

On Sunday, the final day of the tournament, Dartmouth claimed a 4-1 victory over St. John, going 2-0 in doubles and 3-1 in singles. Though Dartmouth won the doubles point for the third time over the weekend, it was particularly close, with No. 49 Sakinis and Roko Glasnovic ’19 etching out a 6-4 win and Wall and Tannenbaum claiming a tight 7-5 victory. The singles followed suit, with Riccardi claiming a tight 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-2 win, Fliegner securing a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win and Grabill taking the required third singles point with a 6-4, 6-2 victory.

Drake praised the team’s bounce back performance after the devastating Penn loss.

“I thought our guys did a good job of trying to stay positive and claw our way back to play some good tennis,” Drake said. “I thought our guys have pulled ourselves back up the past few days and we’ve been playing better tennis as well.”

The men’s tennis team, now 7-4 on the season, will next host the University of Minnesota on Feb. 19.

Joseph Haig ’19 stressed the importance of maintaining that competitive energy, which contributed to the team wins against Brown and St. John, to take down the visiting Gophers.

The women’s team traveled to Boston over the weekend, playing both BC and BU.

On Saturday, Dartmouth defeated BC in a closely contested 4-3 match, going 2-1 in doubles and 3-3 in singles. The Big Green continued its strong doubles play. With the duo of Katherine Yau ’16 and Julia Schroeder ’18 winning 6-1, and the tandem of Jacqueline Crawford ’17 and Julienne Keong ’16 falling 3-6, the doubles point came down to No. 7 pair Taylor Ng ’17 and Kristina Mathis ’18, who cruised through with a 6-3 win.

Dartmouth’s singles won just enough to secure the match in a very intense matchup. The two teams continuously traded wins and losses. With Dartmouth down 2-3 after losses by Dartmouth’s Ng, Yau and Mathis and victories by Dartmouth’s Crawford and Schroeder, Allison Chuang ’19 clinched the match with a 6-4, 7-5 win over Boston College’s Wan-Yi Sweeting. Yau said it was incredible to see Chuang, a freshman, seal the 4-3 victory.

“Our coach always says it is a privilege to be the deciding match in a 3-3 match, and I definitely agree with him,” she said. “It takes composure, positivity and belief to pull out a third set 3-3 match, and Allison was definitely able to do that. Her energy and calmness played a huge role in allowing her to overcome her opponent, and I was really proud to see her persevere through the ups and downs of that match.”

The Big Green followed the encouraging win at Boston College to bagel BU 7-0. The sole loss was from the first doubles team of Ng and Mathis, who fell 6-7. The two duos of Yau and Schroeder and Keong and Crawford secured the doubles point with 6-4 and 6-1 victories.

In singles, three of the matches went into three set matches, with Dartmouth coming out on top in all three. Mathis won against BU’s Johanna Kostirko 6-0, 3-6, 6-4, Crawford defeated BU’s Sabrina Faybyshev 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, and Ng defeated Johanna Hyoty 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Yau, Schroeder and Chuang completed the sweep with straight set victories.

Next weekend, the Dartmouth women will host two teams, No. 62 Minnesota on Saturday and the University of Massachusetts on Sunday. Both matches are set to begin at noon.