The women’s tennis team won their lone home match of the fall season last Saturday, beating Moravian 6-1. The men’s team travelled to Muhlenberg on Tuesday but lost a close 5-4 match. The women now hold a 2-0 record while the men dropped to 0-2.
For the women, freshman Melanie Sparhawk recorded wins in both doubles and singles action against Moravian. She paired with fellow freshman Alyssa Sarver to win their doubles match 6-2, and beat her singles opponent in a straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
The team earned the doubles point as all three pairs won their respective matches. Sarver and Sparhawk won 6-2, sophomore Maureen McCormack and freshman Halle Denardo finished with a 6-1 victory, and juniors Cecelia Lesnick and Samantha Snyder earned the 6-0 sweep at No. 1 doubles.
“[Snyder] and I have played together since freshman year,” Lesnick said. “We played amazing this weekend, we were very focused from the beginning to end.”
In singles action, five out of six Leopards won in straight sets. Freshmen Jessica Siegel and Emma Menkowitz, Sarver, Sparhawk and senior Grace Conrad all earned singles victories.
“Our team this year has such a deep lineup, the level of play goes so deep that everyone’s able to make an impact,” Lesnick added.
The women will wrap up their fall season with a trip to Monmouth University on October 15.
The men came up short on Tuesday evening in a 5-4 loss to Muhlenberg. The pair of junior Daniel Kramer and sophomore Ross Coleman gave Lafayette its only doubles win of the match, 8-6, and they both went on to win their singles matches as well. Kramer won in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, and Coleman won in three sets. Lafayette lost the doubles point.
“The good thing about the fall is that every match is a learning experience, as it gears us up for the spring season,” Coleman wrote in an email. “It was great to have some players in the lineup who usually don’t play much.”
“Sure, we didn’t play our best, but the good news is now we know how to play and what we can do to get better going into the next part of the year,” he added.
Despite the team’s loss, Coleman’s singles play proved to be the highlight of the day. After losing the initial set 1-6, Coleman rallied to win the next two sets 7-5 and 10-8. Coleman came back from an 8-5 deficit for the tie-breaking win.
“When you lose the first set 6-1, you have to know that your strategy just isn’t working,” Coleman wrote. “So, I tried to be more aggressive and hit heavier shots, and it ended up working in the end.”
“When it’s 8-5, you’re barely thinking about the score because every point is so crucial, so all I was trying to do was keep the ball in and let my opponent make the mistakes,” he added. “Sure, there’s nerves when the entirety of both teams is watching you, but you do what you can to block it out.”
Freshman Charles Keller won his singles match as well, 6-3, 6-3 in straight sets to round out the point scoring for the Leopards.
“We are a really young team with [few] seniors and four freshmen, so right now our team is at a building phase,” Coleman wrote. “It is rocky at first, but we have bonded as a team really easily, and everyday we are becoming a more complete team.”
Up next for the men’s team is the ITA Regional Championships, hosted by the University of Virginia, from October 17 to October 22. It will be their final competition before the spring season.
Andrew Hollander ’21 contributed reporting.