Lions skid past Skidmore, squeeze by NYU

Both of the College tennis teams headed into this week with big games on their schedules. The men had to face New York University (NYU) on Feb. 28 and Skidmore on March 1, while the women competed on March 1 against Skidmore.

The men were pushed to the wall against NYU, but pulled out the back and forth match. Every player knew coming into the match that it would be a good indicator of how they would play, considering it was their first dual match of the season. The 5-4 victory put the College at a 1-0 record.

In the singles matches, the College pulled even with NYU with three victories apiece. Jeremy Eckardt won his match against NYU’s Pat Whitner 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3. Edgar Shanoyan defeated NYU’s Eugene Tsarevskly 6-2, 6-4. The College’s Stewart Fernandez, Jonathan Yu and Steven Fernandez all lost their matches against NYU’s Craig Berger, Calvin Chou and Jason Sacher, respectively.

In doubles, Eckardt and Stewart Fernandez won their match 8-5. Also winning their match for the College was Bill Carrig and Dan Lee who won 8-4. Yu and Steven Fernandez continued their poor day with a defeat to NYU’s Berger and Calvin 8-5.

Coming into the match, Dan Lee said he wanted his team to show heart against NYU.

“I expect us to beat NYU, or at least play them very tight,” Lee said. “The match is extremely important because it has some weight on our chances of qualifying for NCAA Nationals later this spring.”

With the match tied 5-5, Lee scored the decisive winning point with his win against Alex Stoler, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-0. With a young team consisting of five starting freshmen, the team will surely look for leadership coming not only from on the court, but also off.

The Lions didn’t, however, play as strongly as they would have liked to when they played Skidmore. The men’s team fell to a score of 6-3. The Lions played well in singles winning three of six matches won by Eckardt, Shanoyan and Lee. It was doubles that killed the Lions as all three matches were won by Skidmore.

Eckardt and Stewart Fernandez lost their match by a score of 8-4, and Yu and Steven Fernandez lost 8-5. The bleeding didn’t stop there, as Carrig and Lee fought hard but lost 9-8. The Lions are still seeded seventh in the Northeast Region despite the loss and are now 1-1.

The College’s women tennis team is currently ranked 27th in Division III, but after a quick 7-0 start to the season, perhaps a reseeding is in order.

“This weekend should be a good test to see where our team is in respect to some of the top teams in the nation,” junior Sarah Roser said prior to the match.

Going into the game, the girls knew they would be pushed against Skidmore who is ranked at 24th in Division III.

“Skidmore is an extremely important match for us for qualifying for nationals and in terms of ranking,” junior Jackie Shtemberg said.

The women proved they were going to make a strong push this season to prove to other teams in the Northeast Region that they are contenders.

Although the victory was a total collaborative team effort, the day belonged to Shtemberg. She won her first singles match against Danika Robinson by a score of 3-6, 6-7, 7-2. Later on, Shtemberg picked up her 100th career victory with a 8-5 win in her doubles match with teammate Felice Trihn.

Haley Kutner defeated Laura Attley in her singles match with a score of 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.Lindsay Katzel picked up an easy victory with a 7-5, 6-3 win. Felice Trihn fell to Skidmore’s Allie Burns 3-6,6-2, 4-4 with a medical default. Also Christie Pollin fell to defeat in her singles match 5-7, 6-2, 6-4. Tamra Wroblesky and Pollin picked up a victory in their doubles match against Loeb and Francher with a score of 8-6.

Both teams play Ithaca College on March 6 at home where they both look to improve their play as the season progresses.