By Miguel Gonzalez
The men’s and women’s tennis teams concluded their seasons on a tear. At Stevens Institute of Technology, the Lions narrowly defeated the Ducks, 5-4, on Wednesday, April 19. The Lions then thrashed St. Lawrence University, 9-0, at home on Saturday, April 22.
On the same day, the Lady Lions escaped with a 5-4 win against St. Lawrence University. The women’s team then capped off the season by trampling Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 9-0.
The men’s team kept their winning momentum against the Ducks. After being swept at doubles, the Lions rallied their way to a 5-4 win. Senior Jack August started the rally when he defeated Ducks junior Kyle Henry. Three singles wins later, freshman Gokul Murugesan delivered the clinching victory by outlasting Ducks junior David Schulz.
In their last home match, the Lions left no doubt of earning an at-large NCAA tournament bid when they blanked St. Lawrence University, 9-0. Sophomore Mitchell Sanders headlined the match when he did not concede a single point against Saints freshman Eric Tecce. Meanwhile, sophomore Omar Bokhari and junior Chris D’Agostino narrowly escaped their singles matches.
Meanwhile, the Lady Lions overcame the Saints in a 5-4 victory. Sophomore Sneha Rangu and freshman Audrey Chen won the Lions only doubles match against Saints freshman Katherine Apt and junior Lia Petersen.
Both teams bounced back and forth in singles. With the Lions down 4-3, sophomores Alyssa Baldi and Mackenzie Holleran launched a comeback and won both of their singles.
The following day, the Lions dismantled the Engineers, 9-0, in their last regular season competition. After winning closely contested doubles, the Lions dominated at singles. Seniors Katie Buchbinder and Anna Prestera left one last strong performance at the Tennis Complex with dominant singles wins.
Both the men’s and women’s teams finish their year at 14-3. Overall, the women’s team recorded six shutouts and the men’s team recorded four. During the year, seniors Jack August and Mike Stanley achieved their 100th victories. Meanwhile, Prestera won 14 singles throughout the year and only dropped two.
“Both teams worked hard and grinded each win,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “They consistently improved. Buchbinder, Prestera, Stanley and August all had great careers. I can’t wait to see how we perform at Nationals this year.”
The men’s and women’s teams now await for their seeding at this year’s NCAA National Tournament, which is scheduled to take place at Salem, Va., from May 22 to May 27.