TENNIS: Dicheck garners New Jersey Coach of the Year award

After a week of individual and team triumph, the men’s and women’s tennis teams are continuing to gain momentum as the end of the season approaches.

Among the triumphs this week was head coach Scott Dicheck’s recognition as 2007 New Jersey Coach of the Year by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

Dicheck is in his eighth season as both the men’s and women’s head coach and has enjoyed considerable success at the College. He has helped the women’s team continue its unbeaten record in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) matches, and his complete collegiate record is 165-64.

“I was pleased to see that coach Dicheck gained national recognition from the USTA,” junior Haley Kutner said. “As a team, we all appreciate everything he has done for us, and it is nice to see that others outside of the school have recognized his contributions to the sport of tennis.”

Adding to Kutner’s thought, senior Michael Klimchak said Dicheck is “a big reason why the program has had so much success these last couple years.”

The men’s team (7-3) had the task of taking down Haverford College (8-3) earlier in the week, and the No. 20 Lions defeated the Fords 7-2 to increase their winning streak to four. After defeating the University of Mary Washington later in the week, the men brought their win streak to five.

The College swept the doubles matches against Haverford as the duos of Klimchak and Roger Mosteller (8-6), sophomore Jeremy Eckardt and senior Eric Ferriere (8-2) and junior James Vance and freshman Jonathan Yu (8-3) were victorious.

Klimchak (4-6, 6-3, 10-7), Eckardt (3-6, 6-3, 10-7), Mosteller (6-3, 6-2) and freshman Matt Pierson (6-4, 2-6, 6-2) were winners in the singles matches for the Lions.

Klimchak is 14-8 on the year and 135-40 in his collegiate career.

“In singles, I was happy with the way that I fought back after being down a set,” Klimchak said, “which shows that you can never give up.”

Over the weekend, the men had their second home match of the week, this time against Mary Washington with the women’s team. The College had mixed results as the men came out victoriously, winning 5-4, but the women came out on the wrong side of their 5-4 contest.

Prior to the matchup, Kutner commented on her expectations for the day.

“Mary Washington is going to be a good test for us as they are ranked in the top 10,” Kutner said. “We expect them to be a talented team and know that we cannot afford to make any loose errors in either doubles or singles play.”

The College and Mary Washington went into the contest ranked 27th and seventh, respectively.

The lone winning doubles team was the No. 1 doubles tandem of sophomore Jackie Shtemberg and senior Christina Contrafatto, which won its match 8-6. Other highlights from the women’s singles matches were victories by Shtemberg (6-1, 6-3), freshman Amanda Berg (6-2, 4-6, 10-4) and sophomore Stephanie Haar (6-2, 6-2).

The women’s team is now 10-6 and had its four-match win streak broken by the loss.

Before the men’s match, Klimchak said he “expect(ed) Mary Washington to be one of (the) toughest matches of the season.”

“I know we will be extremely pumped up and motivated for the match,” he added.

The Lions came away with a victory against the No. 11 Eagles. Doubles winners for the Lions included Klimchak/Mosteller (8-6) as well as Ferriere/Eckardt (8-2).

Klimchak (6-2, 6-1), Eckardt (6-4, 6-2) and Mosteller (6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-2) won in singles competitions for the Lions, giving the College its fifth consecutive victory and third win against top-15 opponents.

With the win, the Lions improved to a record of 9-3.

The teams will play at home today against Bates College. The men are slated for a noon start while the women are scheduled to play at 4 p.m.