By Cynthia Reyes
The Rider men’s and women’s tennis teams did their best against Siena this past Saturday, but unfortunately they lost both of their MAAC matches 1-6, 0-7, respectively. Following its conference battle, the men’s team improved against Division II St. Thomas Aquinas but dropped a nail-biter, 3-4 on Sunday.
“They just had a stronger team,”said sophomore Jaclyn Giameo of the Rider women’s team. “We played our best and were really good at the net, but they had better placement and returns.”
Junior Tricia Ashmore felt the longer points were critical to the Saints’ success, credited to their talent and skill.
“When we got into long rallies, we just couldn’t make the shots and win the games,” she said.
Sophomore Marly Roche almost pulled out a win for Rider (0-6, 0-2 MAAC) when she took her singles match to three sets before finally losing 10-4. Her teammates and head coach, Ed Torres, praised her consistency and drive, and asserted that she will be tough to beat in future matches.
“Her offensive game is steady,” said Torres.
Unfortunately, it was the overall experience of Siena (3-0, 1-0 MAAC) that eventually overpowered the Rider women, according to junior Danielle White. However, she believes the Broncs have the ability to rebound.
“We will bounce back and put up a good fight for our next match,” said White.
On the other hand, the men’s team (0-6, 0-2 MAAC) won its first sets of the year against Siena (2-4, 1-0 MAAC) and St. Thomas Aquinas (1-1) before losing both matches despite its improvement.
“Every single member of our team always leaves everything they have on the court, no matter what the score is,” said sophomore Drew Laverty. “Even though the score doesn’t always reflect our efforts, it doesn’t stop us from working hard.”
At Siena on Saturday, sophomore Ryan Carpenter and senior Chris Esposito won their doubles match 9-8, while sophomore Milo Milosovici and senior Rob Olsen clinched the doubles point of the day with their 8-6 victory.
Olsen also won four of his games in singles before losing in straight sets to his opponent.
“They just had a better lineup for the singles spots,” Milosovici said.
Torres agreed, adding that while the Siena men had more experience on the singles side, the Rider men did extremely well in doubles.
“The key was that they have kept the same partner the last few matches and, overall, they have improved their play,” Torres said.
In its match on Sunday, the men’s team won three out of six singles matches, but lost the doubles point to St. Thomas Aquinas.
“Not winning the doubles point came back to haunt us,” Torres said. “Ninety percent of the time, the winner of doubles wins the match.”
Rider won one of the three doubles matches against St. Thomas Aquinas, falling just shy of a match victory. Olsen played extremely well, shutting out his opponent in his singles match 6-0, 6-0. He and Milosovici won their doubles match 8-4.
“We have to find a groove and be able to play great singles and doubles matches in the same day to get a win,” Olsen said.
Carpenter and sophomore John Spellman won the other two singles matches.
“John always plays a steady style,” Torres said. “His serve and backhand have improved, [and] he is coming into the net more and volleying. That makes him a better player.”
The men’s team will host Philadelphia (2-1) tomorrow at noon and the women’s team will welcome St. Francis (N.Y.) (0-3, 0-1) to Rider on Sunday at noon.