M. & W. Tennis keep up strong Conference play

By MATTHEW RITCHIE | April 4, 2019

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hopkinssports.com Women’s tennis swept Ursinus in their Conference matchup Saturday.

This past weekend was jam-packed, with both Hopkins tennis teams in action. The men’s team faced off against the third-ranked Emory University Eagles on Sunday, traveling down to Atlanta, Georgia. The women’s tennis team continued their Centennial Conference schedule, hosting the Ursinus College Bears on Saturday. 

The men’s team was looking to improve their record against the Eagles, against whom they had lost their past three matchups. It didn’t bode well for the Jays early on. Emory took an early lead, winning all three doubles matches by the scores of 8-3, 8-4, 8-3. All three of Emory’s doubles partnerships are ranked in the Atlantic South region, including the number one doubles team in the nation: seniors Jonathan Jemison and Adrien Bouchet. After the doubles matches, Emory held a 3-0 lead. 

Going into the singles matches, the Blue Jays continued to falter against the Eagles. Junior Austin Gu challenged Bouchet in the first set, taking him to the tiebreak, but eventually fell 8-6. He continued to play Bouchet close in the second set, but dropped the second set by the score of seven games to five. 

The Eagles continued to control the contest, taking a lead of eight matches to zero. The lone bright spot for Hopkins was junior Joe Cartledge, who won his match against sophomore Sahil Raina. It was a three-set affair, as Cartledge controlled the last two sets to hand the Blue Jays their only win of the contest, winning 3-6, 6-1, 1-0 (7). 

The Jays fell to 5-3, dropping their all-time record against Emory to 1-8. The matchup was a quick getaway before they returned back to Centennial Conference play, as they faced the Gettysburg College Bullets on Tuesday. They got back on track against the Bullets, sweeping the match 9-0. Their next contest will be against the Muhlenberg College Mules this Saturday, April 6. 

The women’s team had better luck in their matchup last Saturday, hosting a winless Ursinus. The Jays started off strong, sweeping the three doubles matchups in dominating fashion. The pair consisting of sophomore Dhanya Asokumar and freshman Jessica Liang handily beat their opponents, only dropping one game and winning by a resounding 8-1. That was apparently a popular scoreline for the Blue Jays doubles teams, as seniors Chrissy Simon and Kimberly Zou and senior Mika Inadomi and freshman Lillian Oliver won their respective matches 8-1, as well. It was apparent that the duos were clicking from the outset, showcasing a strong chemistry that proved to be too much for the Ursinus doubles teams. 

When asked about the success the team had during the doubles matches, Inadomi pointed to the team’s confidence and chemistry. 

“We were able to win doubles pretty decisively because we all came out with a confident mindset,” she said. “One of the hardest things at the beginning of the season is to translate what you do in practice to a match, so making sure we were all very supportive and believed in each other was key.”

The momentum that Hopkins held from the three doubles matches seemingly carried into the singles matches. Liang was able to rally back after dropping the first set, eventually winning 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (5) to start off the singles slate. The electric comeback proved to be the only challenge that the Jays faced from Ursinus the entire day. Senior Katie Gauch followed up Liang’s comeback victory with a resounding victory in the second slot, earning a score of 6-0, 6-1.

Their dominance continued as Simon defeated her opponent by way of 6-2, 6-0 in the third slot. Sophomore Margo Gerke one-upped Simon’s performance, refusing to drop even one game in her match at fourth, winning 6-0, 6-0. The rough day for the Bears continued as freshman Anya Gunewardena only dropped a game in her match, and fellow freshman Sophie Saland won by a score of 6-3, 6-0. 

The dazzling performances across the board allowed the Blue Jays to shut out the Bears, taking the contest with a score of 9-0. Hopkins improved their Centennial Conference record to a perfect 3-0, also extending their win streak against Ursinus to 21 straight matches. 

The decisive win did wonders for Hopkins, as Inadomi shared that each Conference win helps the team.

“We are becoming more positive and more willing to push ourselves,” she said.

The Jays will return back to action on Saturday, April 6 when they travel up to Allentown, PA to take on Muhlenberg College.

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