Late season matches prove difficult for Wildcats

John Whalon

After breaking their losing streak, the Villanova men’s tennis team ended the season with another one, losing their last five matches and falling to a 7-15 record for the year. In their first loss of this streak, the team faced St. John’s University. The Redstorm swept the Wildcats 6-0 since there were no doubles matches played. Freshman Sumanth Chittajallu, the fifth singles player, was the only ‘Cat to take any of the Redstorm players to three sets. Chittajallu was able to win the first set, 6-4, but he was unable to end strong, losing the next two, 6-1, 6-1.

In their second loss, the ‘Cats squared off against the Marquette Golden Eagles. Freshman Brian Maher, the second singles player, was the only one to win his match for ‘Nova. Maher beat his opponent 6-3, 4-6, 1-0, but the ‘Cats fell to the Golden Eagles, 1-6 and ended their Big East season with a 1-5 conference record.

Against Bucknell, Villanova fell to the Bison 2-5, dropping their record to 7-13. Villanova won two singles matches on the day by John Borden and Sumanth Chittajallu at the No. 4 and 6 singles spots respectively. Scott Fahrendorf almost pulled out another singles victory, but it would not have mattered with the Bison taking all three doubles matches.

In their last two matches of the season, the team faced Philadelphia rival St. Joe’s and UMBC respectively. Again, freshman Brian Maher won the ‘Cats’only set of the day, beating his opponent in straight sets this time, 6-2, 6-2. However, ‘Nova failed to win any other match on the day, including the doubles matches, and lost to the Hawks, 1-6. Against UMBC, Villanova won only one match on the day, the first doubles match, and had two matches go into a tiebreaker. Both Scott Fahrendorf and Brian Maher both won their first sets but lost their second and neither could capture the tiebreaker. Fahrendorf and Charlie Farmer were able to win their doubles match, but since that was the only match the team won, ‘Nova lost to UMBC, 0-7.

The women’s tennis team had similar luck, or should I say misfortune, with their last five matches on the season. The team lost their last six matches of the season and ended with an 8-12 record. Their first loss came against Big East rivals Rutgers where the Lady ‘Cats lost to the Knights, 0-7. The team did not win any singles matches and lost the first and third doubles matches, while the second doubles match DNF. Freshman Jaclyn Williamson, the No. 3 singles player, took her match into three sets but lost the third, 2-6.

The women’s team then had two matches in two days against Big East rivals, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Against West Virginia, ‘Nova’s Candice Carlin, senior No.1 singles player, won the only match for the ‘Cats, and they lost 0-6 since no doubles matches were played. In their second match of the weekend, the Wildcats squared off against the Panthers. Carlin and Williamson won the team’s only singles matches for the ‘Cats, and Leighann Reilly and Williamson won the second doubles, but Pitt took the other two and defeated ‘Nova, 5-2.

In their next match, the Wildcats took on Bucknell and, like the men, fell to the Bison, losing, 1-6. Williamson won the lady ‘Cats only point at first singles. However, none of the other women could pull out a victory, and the Bison also took all three doubles matches.

In the final match of the season, the Wildcats faced Big East rival Seton Hall University. The Pirates beat the Wildcats 1-6 to end ‘Nova’s season. Senior Candice Carlin ended her Villanova career with a win at first singles, but no one else could help her and the rest of the ‘Cats end on a good note.

These were the final matches for Villanova’s tennis teams. Neither the men’s nor the women’s team made the Big East Championship tournament, but with two young teams, you can look forward to the upcoming seasons for improvement.