M. & W. Tennis take final Centennial matches

By MATTHEW RITCHIE | May 2, 2019

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HOPKINSSPORTS.COM Sophomore Anjali Kashyap won Centennial Conference player of the week.

Last Saturday, the men’s and women’s tennis team had their final matchups before the Centennial Conference tournament this upcoming weekend. The men’s team hosted a doubleheader in Baltimore, facing off against the Dickinson College Red Devils and the Mary Washington University Eagles, while the women’s team traveled to face the Washington College Shorewomen.

The men’s team started off their slate against the Red Devils. The match started off on the right foot as the pairing of sophomore Alex Matisse and senior Colin Muraika made quick work of their opponents, taking the third doubles match 8-1. The hot start continued as the partnership of junior Aaron Carey and senior Scott Thygesen won their match 8-4, allowing the Jays to hop out to a quick 2-0 lead.

The Red Devils would steal a win in the second doubles pairing matchup, bringing the total match score to 2-1. That would be the only success Dickinson saw though.

Sophomore Matt Lurie defeated his opponent 6-0, 6-2 in the fourth singles match, allowing the team to regain their footing after dropping the last doubles match. Freshman Brian Wang kept the momentum going in the third singles match, winning 6-3, 6-3. Fellow freshman Naevin Anukornchaikul kept the success going in the second singles match, winning 6-3, 6-1. 

There seemed to be no stopping the Jays against their Centennial foe, as sophomore Robby Simon also won his matchup in the sixth singles match by the score of 6-4, 6-3. Freshman Eric Burrer also carried the freight for the team, going the distance with his opponent in the fifth singles match, winning 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8). Sophomore Eric Yoo completed the singles sweep in the first singles match, completing a stellar comeback, winning 0-6, 6-2, 6-4. 

The matchup against the no. 15-ranked Mary Washington was tightly contested, with Hopkins taking two of the three doubles pairings to begin the match. However, the early advantage faded, as Mary Washington would end up winning the match 5-4.

The win against Dickinson allowed the Jays to complete a perfect Centennial Conference season, finishing 9-0. They will host the conference tournament this upcoming Saturday. 

The women’s team got off to a hot start as the pairing of sophomore Anjali Kashyap and junior Sophia Strickland as they shut out their opponent, winning 8-0 in the first doubles match. The freshmen pairing of Sophie Saland and Lillian Oliver kept the ball rolling, winning the third doubles match 8-3. The partnership of freshman Jessica Liang and Amanda Ruci completed the doubles sweep, taking their match by the score of 8-2. 

Strickland gave insight into what it felt like to go up 3-0 after the doubles matches.

“Going up 3-0 takes a lot of pressure off the singles matches and allows people to play a bit freer,” she said.

It was smooth sailing from that point on, as the Jays won every singles match, with only one of the matches going to three sets. Ruci controlled her match at fourth singles as she only dropped one game. Strickland clinched the match win at second singles with a 6-2, 6-2 victory. Kashyap then dominated the first singles match, winning 6-1, 6-1. 

Liang then completed a thrilling comeback at the third singles match after dropping the first set. Unsullied, she came all the way back, winning 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8). Oliver put together another dominating performance, completely shutting out her opponent at the sixth singles match. Saland closed out the match with a 6-2, 7-5 victory at the fifth singles match. 

With this win, the Jays completed their 13th straight undefeated season in Centennial Conference play. 

Strickland shared what the mentality was for the undefeated conference play and what the outlook is for the tournament. 

“We had to make sure not to take it for granted and still take every match seriously because teams can surprise you,” she said. “I have a lot of confidence in this team to win again this weekend.”

The Jays host the Centennial Conference Tournament this upcoming Saturday, awaiting the winner between Gettysburg and Franklin & Marshall.

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