The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Tennis goes undefeated in weekend matches

Sophomore Paras Briegel hits a backhand. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

The men’s and women’s tennis teams both bounced back from recent losses last weekend, going undefeated against Wilkes University and Union College.

On the men’s side, the team entered the match against Division III Wilkes on Saturday as clear favorites, something that freshman Ryan Burns said the team looked to prove early in the match.

“There was a lot of confidence from us,” Burns said. “Our coach emphasized that we take care of business to get in and out.”

The team executed this plan to great effect, easily securing both the doubles point and all six singles matches in comfortable victories. Notable wins included sophomores Nick McKenzie and Jake Magnusson, who both took their singles matches in straight sets.

Despite the straightforward victory on Saturday, Burns said that Union College posed a much greater threat to the Leopards.

“I knew that last year [Lafayette and Union] played a really close match, so we came in with the expectation to win but we knew it wouldn’t be as easy,” Burns said. 

Junior Arman Ganchi and McKenzie would get the Leopards off and running in doubles with an 8-5 victory. The team of sophomore Sam Gelber and freshman Derrin Lerner clinched their point in a match tiebreaker, winning 8-7 (8-6). 

Ganchi and McKenzie would continue their strong play by securing both the first and second singles matches, but after Union found three singles wins of their own, the teams were deadlocked at three matches all with Burns’ match as the decider.

“I was definitely nervous when I realized it was coming down to me,” Burns said. “I knew I needed to really lock in to win this match for us. I honestly don’t remember much because I was just so focused.”

Burns would come through in the end, coming back from a 7-4 deficit to win the match in another match tiebreaker, 8-7 (7-4). The win secured a 2-0 weekend for the Leopards — something that Burns says gives the team a significant push forward.

“It was really a big boost, especially after our last weekend kind of killed morale,” Burns said. “Taking such a tight win against Union definitely helped rebuild the confidence and show the team we can be.”

The women had a similarly strong weekend, starting with a 9-0 sweep of Wilkes in which no singles player surrendered more than two games throughout the entire match. This included two 6-0, 6-0 wins from sophomore Paras Briegel and junior Olivia Boeckman. According to Briegel, the Leopards emphasized this match as an opportunity to build momentum.

“It’s really easy to lose focus when you know you aren’t playing your toughest opponent, but I think that every member of our team used this as a time to build and work on their focus,” Briegel said.

That focus would push the Leopards on Sunday, as the team would go on to defeat Union by a score of 5-2. The team secured an undefeated weekend on the doubles side, something that Briegel says is a result of the team’s growing camaraderie.

“A few of the teams were a little bit different this weekend,” Briegel said. “One of the reasons that works so well is because we’ve all gotten closer and are starting to understand each other’s playing styles better.”

The Leopards didn’t look back, securing four out of six singles matches en route to an undefeated weekend. Notable wins came from freshman Hanna Ganchi, who maintained her undefeated start to the 2024 season with an 8-5 win and freshman Ally Bauer, who took seven straight points in a tiebreaker to win 8-7 (7-0).

Both teams are back in action this weekend. The women’s team faces off against Delaware State tomorrow before both teams host Le Moyne College on Sunday.

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About the Contributor
Martin Familetti, Staff Sports Writer
Come On You Spurs.

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