By Tim Ferrier
The men’s and women’s tennis teams welcomed Fairleigh Dickinson to their courts on April 6, but both teams fell to the opposition in 6-1 defeats.
Rider’s women’s team dropped to a 3-10 record on the year while Fairleigh Dickinson improved to 10-7.
The women were led by a strong showing from senior Vanessa Canda who picked up her third singles victory of the season winning in straight sets. She defeated Isabelle Ismanescu by a score of 6-3 twice and gave the Broncs their lone singles victory.
“I felt pretty good. I tried to execute whatever I did in practice with my coach. After the first set, I just took in his advice and kept playing my game,” Canda said in response to her individual performance.
Junior Cyd Melendez and freshman Angelica Garcia secured the first doubles victory for the women, winning their match, 6-3, against Patricia Eftenoiu and Carolin Menzen. The duo improved to a 9-4 record on the year when playing together.
Melendez was also the closest to earning the team a second singles point as she pushed a second set tie break against the Knight’s Liza Rachenko before falling 3-6, 5-7.
The second doubles match was dropped by Canda and junior Amanda Binder 1-6, and the third was a default win for Fairleigh Dickinson. The Knights were also granted two singles default wins.
The Broncs’ men’s team dropped to a record of 2-8 on the year while the Knights improved to 8-10.
Senior Ryan Ciaccio collected his fourth singles win of the year as a result of a win by default, giving him a 4-7 record. The win would tie Ciaccio for the team lead on the season.
Fairleigh Dickinson swept the remaining singles matches despite the strong play from both freshman Peter Komosinski and junior Griffin Clark.
Komosinski pushed the match to a third set, but ultimately could not win it, losing 6-1, 2-6 and 1-6 to Maciej Autuch. Clark played competitively in his straight set loss and fell by 4-6 twice to Eduardo Cabral.
Sophomore Javier Melendez and Komosinski lost the first doubles match of the day, 2-6, while Clark and senior Brandon Gildea would drop the second doubles match, 2-6. The third match was a default win for the Broncs.
Despite both Broncs team’s struggles, Head Coach Doug Potkay felt good about their overall performances.
“We played a lot of good points, a lot of good games [and] the matches were close,” said Potkay. “We’ve been working on being more aggressive when the opportunity in the short court happens. Overall, their game plan was good, we came up against a tough team.”
The fifth-year head coach said he is optimistic about the season thus far and going forward.
“I think as we play more matches, the team gets tougher mentally,” Potkay said. “I think, physically, we’re not there yet. We worked hard over the winter [so] it’s coming. I think as we get into more matches, I see very good things happening.”
The men’s team will travel to Staten Island to play Wagner on April 12 at 3 p.m. before both teams battle Coppin State at home on April 13 at 11 a.m.