Men’s tennis claw out three more victories; women lose one

Chase Gibson

The men’s tennis team defended its home court with vengence this past week, thanks to solid singles and gritty doubles play in consecutive victories over Georgetown, Duquesne, and Lehigh.

Saturday’s 5-2 triumph over Big East rival Georgetown marked the men’s first win of the spring.

In singles, ‘Nova was led by seniors Brad Adams and Ryan Devine. Adams overcame a first set loss to claim his match 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. Devine’s victory was a more decisive 6-2, 6-4.

Sophomores Aaron Kusza and Ricardo Baraldi also performed well en route to their singles wins.

Adams and junior John Toppel teamed up to defeat Georgetown’s Ryan Peisel and Dennis Cravedi 8-6 in doubles play. Baraldi and senior Justin Goulet finished with an 8-6 victory of their own.

The team carried the groove over into Sunday’s games, defeating Duquesne 4-3. Devine, Kusza and freshman Carl Fenzel came up big in singles play. Kusza and Fenzel won their matches 6-3, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-3 respectively. The match was decided by Devine’s exciting third set tie breaking win.

Once again, strong doubles play played an essential role in the win. Number two doubles Adams and Toppel and number three doubles Baraldi and Goulet were both victorious 8-4.

The streaking ‘Cats completed their successful homestand on Tuesday, serving Lehigh more than they could handle with a 4-3 win. Toppel and Kusza provided ‘Nova’s only doubles win, battling for an 8-2 win. But losing the doubles point meant the team would have to take 4 of 6 singles matches.

Number one singles Ryan Devine set the tone, pulling out a win 6-1, 6-7, 6-1. Baraldi and Fenzel followed suit, winning 7-6, 6-2 and 6-3, 6-1 respectively, leaving the team within grasp of the win.

Sophomore Aaron Kusza’s match proved the deciding factor. His brilliant performance in the third set concluded the team’s undefeated week.

Coach Bob Batman was pleased with his team’s recent performances, which raised their record to 5-8 overall. “All three matches were considered difficult and turned out to be very close,” Batman said. “The thing that pleased me and assisted the team in winning each match is what we have been emphasizing a lot lately – mental toughness. Keeping a positive mental attitude was the difference in the ability to win each and every close individual and team match.”

After winning its first matches of the spring season this past week, the men’s team hopes to continue its run at St. Joseph’s on Monday and against Townson on Tuesday.

The women’s team, meanwhile, fell to Georgetown on Saturday, dropping its record to 3-6 for the year.

Unfortunately, there were few highlights as the team lost the match 1-6. However, Coach Steve Reiniger maintained the score misrepresents a close and winnable match.

The team did, in fact, have several opportunities to steal the win.

Junior tandem Jessie Rybacki and Kelly McAndrew routed Georgetown’s Stephanie Sutton and Jordan Botier by the score of 8-4 in the No. 2 doubles. Seniors Jennifer Zick and Stephane Ariot fought valiantly, but could not beat Georgetown’s top seeded doubles team,

Courtney and Morgan Flezzani also had a strong showing, but fell short of earning the doubles point for their team, losing 8-6.

Rybacki claimed Villanova’s only singles win over Trina Snow in two sets. Junior Kelly McAndrew battled Monisha Ghia into the final game of the third set but came up short .

Likewise, freshman Lindsey Puchyr could not put away her opponent in the final set, ending hopes for a comeback, 6-2, 3-6, 6-7.