M. and W. Tennis dominate in Conference matches

By MATTHEW RITCHIE | April 18, 2019

HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Austin Gu was named Conference Player of the Week for his performance this weekend.

It was a busy week for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams. The men’s team had two Centennial Conference matchups, and the women’s team had three matches, including one Conference battle over the weekend. 

The men’s team first hosted the Franklin & Marshall College Diplomats last Wednesday afternoon. The Jays started off particularly strong when the number three pairing of junior Austin Gu and sophomore Jack Hogan took care of business in the first doubles match of the day, taking the match 8-4. The second pairing of sophomore Vishnu Joshi and junior Vik Vasan continued the doubles domination, defeating their opponents by a score of 8-4 as well. The Jays’ number one pairing of seniors Colin Muraika and Scott Thygesen shut the door on their opponents, winning their match 8-5, securing the sweep of the doubles matches.

The Jays wrapped up the contest relatively quickly, with Thygesen taking the win at 6-2, 6-2 in the second singles position, and Gu delivering the deciding blow at the first singles position, winning 6-2, 6-3. Diplomat senior Zack Levin snatched a win in the third singles match, but it was too late as the Jays would go onto win the contest by a score of 7-2. It was the 19th straight victory over Franklin & Marshall in the all-time series. 

The men’s team continued their Conference slate by traveling to Swarthmore, Pa. to square-up against the Swarthmore College Garnet. Swarthmore took the first doubles match as sophomore Jiung Jang and freshman Noah Criss defeated Muraika and Thygesen. However, the Jays bounced back quickly, with the pairings of Joshi and Vasan and Gu and junior Joe Cartledge both winning their respective matches 8-6.

The Jays took control in the singles matches once again, winning three straight matches to clinch the Centennial Conference matchup. Joshi defeated Jung 6-4, 6-2, and junior Aaron Carey controlled his matchup, winning 6-4, 6-3. Thygesen emerged victorious in a thrilling three set matchup, after dropping the first set no less. He clinched the contest for the Jays, winning 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. 

The win marked the team’s sixth straight victory over Swarthmore and improved their Conference record to 5-0. They face McDaniel College on Tuesday, April 16.

Joshi talked about what clicked for the team against Swarthmore.

“One of the biggest things that got us through the match was how hard we competed,” he said. “The result could have turned out differently had we not fought as hard as we did, but we knew that the best teams find a way to win under any circumstance and that carried us to victory.”

The women’s team ran through their opponents this past week, continuing their hot stretch as a unit. Against Bryn Mawr College Owls last Saturday, they did not drop a single match, sweeping the Owls to improve to 6-0 in Conference. It was a dominating performance overall, as the Jays rarely allowed their opponents to get into the match. In four of the six singles matches, Hopkins didn’t allow their opposition to win more than two games. 

Their momentum carried on later in the day, as the Jays faced the Christopher Newport University Captains that afternoon. They jumped out to a commanding lead once again, as the pairings of sophomore Anjali Kashyap and junior Sophia Strickland, sophomore Dhanya Asokumar and freshman Jessica Liang, and freshman Evelyn Chang and senior Katie Gauch all won by the score of 8-2. 

It was smooth sailing from that point on, as Hopkins would go on to win the contest 7-2. 

The women’s team ended their week with a satisfying upset over the University of Mary Washington Eagles on Sunday. They hopped out to a 2-1 lead after the doubles matchups thanks to wins from the pairings of Chang and Gauch and Asokumar and senior Kimberly Zou. A strong team showing during the singles matches, in which they took four of six matches, allowed them to grab the win and the upset. 

The win on Sunday avenged a 6-3 loss to the Eagles from last year and left the team with a nine-match winning streak heading into their Tuesday battle with McDaniel College.

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