Stumbling into the postseason: Men’s and women’s tennis wrap up regular season

Grace+Conrad+20+hits+the+backhand.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Grace Conrad ’20 hits the backhand. (Photo Courtesy of Athletic Communications)

The men’s and women’s tennis teams have wrapped up their seasons and are heading into their Patriot League Championship tournament this week.

The men’s team competed in three matches this week against Lehigh, Mount St. Mary’s and Villanova. Although they lost all three matches, the team played hard and matched up well against their opponents. Junior Mason Keel had a standout singles performance at the Villanova match, bringing home the only win for Lafayette that day.

Freshman Blake Oslan also had notable performances this week, coming close to his opponent at the Lehigh match and then beating his Mount St. Mary’s opponent with ease.

“We had a solid group of freshmen this year, three of four started in singles,” Keel said.

The strong freshman class played a major role this season, allowing the team to remain competitive despite their lack of upperclassmen. There are no seniors currently on the men’s team, so they look forward to building upon their current strengths for next year. Their goals for next season are to beat the teams they barely lost to this year and to place higher in the Patriot League.

The women’s team also ended their past three matches with losses.

Against Mount St Mary’s, Lafayette ended the day with a 5-2 loss. Freshman Grace Conrad dominated her opponent and won a point in her singles match. Lafayette also gained a point in doubles from the pairings of Conrad and freshman Katie Hill as well as freshman Meredith Block and senior Tori Almeida.

At the Villanova meet, Conrad won her singles match, her fourth consecutive singles match win, for the lone Lafayette point.

In the rivalry meet against Lehigh, Block defeated her singles opponent and earned the only win for Lafayette, making the final score 6-1.

“Bucknell and Colgate both lost 7-0 against Lehigh, so getting a point against Lehigh was big for us,” Conrad said.

Although the team did not get the end results they wanted this season, they have been working together to improve and adapt after every match.

“Our goals were met this season because we all played really well and worked hard, even though the scores might not show that,” Conrad said. “We were all passionate about each match.”

The team will be losing five seniors and gaining three or four freshmen next year. Although they will be a relatively young team with no senior members, they hope to remain competitive and go into next year with the confidence and determination they built up this season.

“We want to continue to be competitive next season,” Conrad said. “We have a certain team morale that we want to carry into next year.”

Written by Amy Hewlett ’19.