By Kristie Kahl
With the season winding down to its final games, the men’s and women’s tennis teams were able to clinch a win after a long stretch of losses.
On Wednesday, Rider hosted Wagner during a Code Cranberry event. The men’s team overcame the Seahawks 5-2, while the women swept Wagner 7-0 in the non-conference match.
“I was really excited about the opportunity to win,” sophomore Patricia Ashmore said. “We play in such a tough conference; you need these lighter matches to make you feel confident again in your game.”
For the men, senior Marc Ashed claimed a win over freshman Pierre Yuzon at third singles 6-0, 6-1. Freshmen Drew Laverty and Milo Milosovici followed suit by winning No. 4 and No. 5 singles, respectively. Adding yet another win for the men’s side, junior Aaron Goldenthal swept senior Zac Lewis, 6-0, 6-0.
The women’s single-match players came out strong as all six athletes defeated their opponents. Senior Kristina Paich won at first singles 6-0, 6-2, while freshman Marly Roche swept second singles 6-0, 6-0. Ashmore posted a win over junior Joanna Ciavarella at third singles while junior Mallory Garbaravage won at fourth singles 6-1, 6-2. Sophomores Ally Clay and Danielle White swept fifth and sixth singles, both winning 6-0, 6-0.
“Consistency and controlled power were definitely key to winning the match,” said Ashmore.
Both the men’s and women’s doubles teams came out ahead by the end of the match. For the men, senior Will Haight and Ashed won 8-4 in first doubles while junior Chris Esposito and Laverty swept the competition 8-0 at second doubles. Freshmen Matt DiMartino and John Spellman clinched an 8-1 win at third doubles. For the women, Ashmore and Roche won at first doubles 8-3 while Paich and Clay added to the victory with an 8-0 win at second doubles. Garbaravage and White then swept at third doubles 8-0.
“It feels really good to win,” Ashmore said. “So hopefully we can use that motivation to work harder and maybe win some more.”
On Monday, the women’s team fell to MAAC foe Marist, 7-0.
Ashmore stood out among the Broncs as she claimed 10 games before losing 7-5, 7-5 in the No. 3 singles competition.
“That was a really hard match and a lot of fun,” Ashmore said. “I was playing really consistent and keeping up with the girl in almost every game, but unfortunately, it came down to a couple key points there at the end of the sets and it didn’t go in my favor.”
The day before, both teams were swept by non-conference opponent George Mason, 7-0.
In the first set of the men’s No. 1 singles, Haight was able to clinch a 7-5 win but George Mason’s sophomore Jorge Osuna responded with a 6-2 win, forcing the match to go into three sets. In the end, Haight lost the third set 10-4, giving the match to George Mason.
Other highlights for the men included Goldenthal winning six games at No. 6 singles before losing 7-5, 6-1. Junior Robert Olsen also won six games but fell in two sets, losing 6-3, 6-3. The four-year duo Haight and Ashed went on to defeat their George Mason opponents in doubles competition, 8-6.
For the women, Paich, Roche and Garbaravage each won two games throughout their sets.
On Saturday, St. Joe’s defeated the men’s team 7-0 in a non-conference match-up.
Olson was able to win three games at sixth singles before losing in straight sets to senior Lucho Perez-Abreau. Ashed and Haight claimed two games of their doubles sets in their match against seniors Michael Stauble and Matt Prusack.
Both teams will move on to host MAAC rival Siena today at noon, in the last regular season match for the men’s team. The women will wrap up the regular season Saturday at 11 a.m. against NJIT.
“We only have two matches left — Friday and Saturday, and then just the MAAC tournament a week later,” Ashmore said. “So we are just going to focus on trying our hardest in these two matches, and then practicing, healing and making ourselves as strong and consistent as we can over that week.”
By Kristie Kahl