Lions suffer dual defeats to Vassar

The women’s tennis team suffered its second loss in a row as it fell to Vassar College 7-2. Prior to the losses, the Lions had maintained a 13-game winning streak before slipping to a 10-2 record on the year.

“It was a big opportunity for us to play this team,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “A win would have moved us up in the rankings and would have given us a higher chance of getting into nationals, but we didn’t take advantage.”

Freshman Haley Kutner highlighted the Lions’ performance with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 come-from-behind victory in second singles. After giving up the first set to junior Anna Will, Kutner battled back to tie it up in each of the next two sets.

“Midway through it was tied and Haley seemed to step it up and play very well to win convincingly,” Dicheck said. “It was a very good performance.”

Junior Kristen Turturiello managed to get the only other Lion win for the day at third singles, as she took down sophomore Kelly Barnett 7-5, 6-7 (2), 10-4. The win also tallies Turturiello’s 10th win in dual singles action. She stands at 10-0 on the season.

“It feels good to know that hard work can pay off and I just want to keep working hard to keep getting better,” Turturiello said.

With only two matches left in the Lions’ schedule, the team will have to make some adjustments before the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament.

“We have not been as strong in doubles as we have been in the past few years,” Dicheck said. “We haven’t found any success in it. It gives us an edge before we go into singles and we have not been able to put it together.”

The Lions will face Elizabethtown College at home on April 12 and then they will close out the season with a home match against Connecticut College on April 15.

“I think we need to just forget about the loss to Vassar and keep moving forward to get the next two matches as wins,” Turturiello said. “We just have to play at our potential, stay focused and play hard.”

The men’s team also suffered a 5-2 loss on Saturday to Swarthmore College to drop its record to 5-3.

Senior Ryan Carty had the big win of the day as he overpowered senior Zac Rodd in first singles 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-7). Carty had just rebounded from the flu and still managed to edge past the high-ranked Rodd.

Unfortunately for the Lions, second singles freshman Roger Mosteller endured an injury earlier this week that kept him out of competition during that time. Also, junior Corey Ball sustained a hamstring injury during his fifth singles match. The pain caused Ball to retire in the middle of the third set before he could complete a comeback win.

“The number one thing for us right now is health,” Dicheck said. “We are hoping that Roger and Corey can bounce back from their injuries, but if they can’t, the younger guys may have to be put in the lineup, which would at least give them a great opportunity.”

Sophomore Mike Klimchak picked up the slack for Mosteller as he took the win in third doubles with freshman partner Will Daly 9-8 (7-5). In second singles, Klimchak played one of last year’s All-Americans and performed admirably as he fell 7-5, 2-6, 0-6.

The Lions will begin a four-game home stand on April 14 against New York University, April 15 against Connecticut, April 17 against Drew University and April 19 against Bates College.