By Victoria Lyons
With the spring part of the season gearing up, both the men’s and women’s tennis teams haven’t started the way they would have liked against conference foes Fairfield and Niagara.
Both the men and the women lost 7-0 against Fairfield, while the women lost 7-0 against Niagara and the men were defeated 6-1.
It was a struggle for the Broncs, considering the opponents they were up against, according to Head Coach Ed Torres.
“The matches against Niagara and Fairfield were very difficult matches for us because we were playing against two of the three top teams in the MAAC,” he said. “They have a lot of veteran players with lots of experience while both of our teams are made up of freshmen and sophomores.”
In the match against Niagara, the Rider men and women not only had to battle their competitors, but also the 40-degree weather and windy conditions.
For the men’s team, junior Rob Olsen won at sixth singles, 6-0 and 6-1, while senior Marc Ashed put up a fight, losing only 6-4 and subsequently 6-2 at third singles.
As for the women, senior Kristina Paich and sophomore Allison Clay won second doubles with a score of 8-7.
Also in the match against Niagara was sophomore Danielle White, winning seven games at sixth singles before losing 6-2 and 7-5.
The match against Fairfield consisted of freshman Drew Laverty winning three games at fourth singles, but eventually losing in straight sets, while Ashed lost 6-0 and 6-1 at third singles.
The Rider women had a hard competitor: The Fairfield women are the defending MAAC champions.
“It is great experience playing these teams and will only make our players better,” Torres said.
Freshman second singles player Marly Roche as well as junior fourth singles player Mallory Garbaravage won three games, but lost in straight sets against Fairfield.
The men’s next match will be on Monday against Fordham, while the women will also compete on Monday against Loyola Maryland.
“I have noticed a little improvement overall as a team, but it takes time to reach a higher level of play,” Torres said.
By Victoria Lyons