It was a mixed week for the College’s tennis teams, as the men went 2-0 to extend their win streak to a semester-best five games while the women’s team split a pair of matches to close out their regular season.
It could not have been a much better week for the men, who rolled past Haverford College 8-1 and shutout Chestnut Hill (Division II) to improve to 10-3 ahead of Wednesday’s season finale.
The only point conceded was in the first position against Haverford, and excluding a loss to Villanova University (Division I) the Lions have won six in a row dating back to a triumph over No. 26 Franklin and Marshall College.
Head coach Scott Dicheck said it’s a hot streak which has been a reward for strong doubles play, an emphasis for both tennis programs as it sets the tone early.
“We did not play at the level we expected to at the beginning of the year,” Dicheck said. “The turnaround really started with the doubles game. We’ve looked great in doubles, it’s what has propelled us to this win streak – six in a row (against Division II and III teams).”
The 23rd-ranked women’s team had a few streaks of its own snapped during a 3-6 loss to fellow heavyweight No. 28 Trinity College. This includes a season-long undefeated record against Division II and III teams, before wrapping up the regular season with an 8-1 win against Muhlenberg College.
The Lions (15-2) lost two points to Trinity in doubles, were outscored 4-2 in singles, and suffered their first loss since falling to Villanova (Division I) on April 7th as a result.
“It was the first time we’ve lost a doubles point against a Division III team all year,” DiCheck said. “It did really hurt us, losing a point; we need to re-emphasize the start of the doubles.”
But the Lions rebounded by beating Muhlenberg and capping off a successful season which should give them confidence heading into the NCAA Division III championships, which they qualified for by winning the NJAC conference ealier this season.
“We’ve had a very good regular season,” DiCheck said. “Over the past few weeks we’ve had a few injuries, so we’re hoping to get a few players healthy again. For the rest of the players, we have to keep working.”