The College’s tennis teams were nearly perfect this weekend. The men blew out SUNY Oneonta and Muhlenberg College, both by the score of 9-0, and the women had the same result against Muhlenberg, but lost to the University of Mary Washington, 3-6.
The men (14-0) have continued their roll and secured the most wins in a season for head coach Scott Dicheck and the most the College has had since the 1993-94 season.
Against SUNY Oneonta, aside from a tight second set for senior Marc Nichols, the Lions were dominant. Senior T.J. Riley, sophomore Jack August, junior Howard Telson and freshmen Billy Buchbinder and Pierce Cooper all won easily.
The doubles teams of Nichols/Telson and Riley/August both notched 8-2 victories, while senior Jordan Cruz and Buchbinder took down the opposition, 8-1.
It was a carbon copy the following day, as the Mules were grounded 9-0. Cooper was the most impressive, shutting out his opponent.
In addition, Nichols, Telson, Buchbinder, August and Riley were all on the winning side of matches.
Following suit of the day before, the same exact doubles teams won. Nichols/Telson and Riley/August nabbed 8-3 wins, while Cruz and Buchbinder were untouchable en route to an 8-0 victory.
“It felt great,” Nichols said of the wins. “After having an extended break from matches, everyone was eager to get on the court again. With everything that has happened, we have a lot to play for and we proved that with the wins this weekend.”
Suffering a tough loss to the University of Mary Washington, the women (13-2) struggled, something uncharacteristic of them. Senior Karisse Bendijo and freshman Jasmine Muniz-Cadorette both won in three sets, but they were the only singles victors on the Lions.
In doubles, the team of junior Tara Criscuolo and sophomore Alex Bologno won impressively, 8-1.
A team’s ability to bounce back is crucial, and that’s exactly what the Lions did against Muhlenberg the next day, winning 9-0. Bendijo and Muniz-Cadorette spearheaded the victory, winning their matches 6-4, 6-0 and 6-3, 6-2, respectively.
In addition, freshman Emma Allen, sophomores Alex Bologno and Sarah Lippincott, and junior Tara Criscuolo all had winning ways. The College completed the sweep in doubles, as the combinations of Bendijo/Bologno, Allen/Muniz-Cadorette and Lippincott/Criscuolo were all successful.
The men are in action for their final match at Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, April 24, while the women are home to SUNY New Paltz. With it being the last week of the regular season, the team is ready for the postseason.
“Nationals is going to be very tough,” Nichols said. “I know we will make our run and you never know what can happen, but there are some great teams out there. We’re ranked No. 30 in the nation and we aren’t satisfied. We know we can go higher and we will see how high that is come May.”