By Aliyaah Lindsey
The men’s and women’s tennis teams traveled to Poughkeepsie, New York, on March 29 to face conference rival Marist; however, both squads were swept 0-7.
Senior Michelle Caravaglio challenged her opponent, junior Melissa Carlay, forcing a third set tiebreaker after taking the second set, 7-5. Caravaglio’s hard work was not rewarded in the record books; however, that doesn’t stop her from trying to perform to the best of her ability.
“I felt frustrated coming out of yesterday’s match,” Caravaglio said. “My opponent and I played a third-set tiebreaker and losing the match by only two points was upsetting. But having played a competitive match against a team as good as Marist was exciting.”
After her performance, Caravaglio is looking forward to her next opportunity to come away with a victory.
“I plan on mentally preparing for the match against Temple by going in with a positive mind-set and trying to stay as calm as possible,” Caravaglio said. “When I get nervous, I tense up and do not play to the best of my ability.”
The men were also defeated 0-7, but freshman Chris Popso proved to be tough competition for his opponent, senior Joseph Dube, as Popso won 5 games, before ultimately falling 6-3 and 6-2 in the match at second singles.
Popso is pleased with his performance, but wished he could have won.
“I had a very strong opponent, but I felt it was a winnable match,” he said. “There were a few loose points here and there, and ultimately if I had the same focus as when I beat Lafayette, I think I would have won the match. Overall, I think my game has progressed and has become far more dynamic, especially with the added serve and volley that a lot of top players in the division have been using to their advantage.”
Sophomores Chanton Phan and Matthew Begley each left their matches winning four games, but were also defeated 6-1, 6-3 and 6-3, 6-1, respectively.
However, Head Coach Doug Potkay was impressed with his team’s intelligence.
“In men’s singles, I watched Matt Begley and Chris Popso play very smart tennis and give their opponents all they could handle,” he said.
Potkay was pleased with both teams’ overall performance, despite the loss.
“Even though we played a more experienced Marist team, I’m impressed with how they all battled, and gave 100 percent effort against their more experienced opponents,” he said. “What stood out the most that day, was both teams cheering each other on, especially Michelle’s match, which was the last to end.”
The women’s team will face Temple (12-6, 0-4 AAC) on April 2 and the men’s team will be home, hosting Niagara (3-7, 1-1 MAAC) on April 3. Potkay wants to keep his team concentrated and continue to help them improve.
“As with most athletes, especially in individual sports like tennis and golf, you learn to forget and look forward to your next match,” Potkay said. “I try to stay positive and honest with the players and reinforce the effort they put forth. From what I notice, most of the players are very positive and continue to train and practice hard, and I’ve seen much improvement with the players. It might not show in their final scores but most games are close and hard fought.”