By Justin Bonhard
The tennis teams bounced back after a dismal performance last week, as both the men and women swept Salem International.
The men and women then fell to a similar fate against Marist, but the women took a 6-1 win over Coppin State. The men were narrowly defeated 4-3 against Coppin State.
Rider hosted Salem International on March 29, and beat the teams in both the men’s and women’s matches, 7-0.
The men’s side got off to a rocky start, winning two of the three doubles matches, and picking up the first game point. The Broncs then went on to take the six singles matches, giving them a 7-0 victory as a team.
Junior Chris Popso picked up his second and third wins of the season in singles play with his victories against Salem International and Coppin State on March 29 and April 2, respectively.
Popso spoke about how the men’s team is performing this season.
“We’ve been waiting a while for a win,” he said. “We’ve had some close matches, specifically in doubles. We need to try to keep momentum going, play as best we can and play fearless.”
The women easily defeated Salem International in straight sets for the six singles matches and three doubles matches. Rider only gave up four points in the singles matches and two points in doubles play.
After carrying momentum from the win at home versus Salem International, the Broncs fell off against MAAC-rival Marist.
The women put up the most fight with freshman Amanda Binder, forcing a third game against the Red Foxes’ Callie Morlock and eventually losing 6-4, 2-6 and 6-1.
The men’s side wouldn’t come as close as Binder, as they would lose 7-0 to Marist, with sophomore Brandon Gildea leading the Broncs in dismal losses 6-2, 6-1, against Jan Dermic.
The tennis teams also had a match at home against St. Peter’s on April 1, but it was postponed because of inclement weather. A make-up will later be announced.
The last match of the week came on the road against Coppin State on April 2, with the women winning 6-1 and the men losing 4-3.
The stand-out performer for the women was freshman Cyd Melendez, who easily defeated Tanna Nita 6-0, 6-0.
For the men’s side, the Broncs fought hard to stay in the match against the evenly matched Bald Eagles, but came up short, losing 4-3.
The Broncs took the doubles points away from Coppin State but couldn’t close out their matches in singles. Juniors Chris Popso and Jeremy Van Herwarde defeated their opponents in straight sets.
Another notable performer that kept the Broncs in contention was freshman Griffin Clark who was defeated by Andre Sturniolo in three games 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Coach Potkay spoke on the performance of his team against Coppin State.
“I believe the women’s team is playing with a lot of confidence, and it was good to see that they were able to recognize different styles of play and adjust their game,” he said. “The men played well enough to win, but Coppin State’s players wore them down with their pusher-type style of play.”
After the rigorous set of matches this week, the women remain even at 7-7 and the men are 2-11 on the season.
The men have seven matches remaining and the women have six. The men host Delaware and La Salle on April 5 and 6, and the women host La Salle on April 7.