Men’s, Women’s Tennis Are Strong in Tournament Play

The Swarthmore men’s and women’s tennis teams each had successful weekends, winning several matches in elimination-style tournament play. The men hosted the Tim Berman Invitational and sent players to the Saint Joseph’s Invitational, while the women competed in the USTA-ITA Southeast Regional Woman’s Championship, held at the University of Mary Washington.

The men sent Irving Stone ’15 and Christian Carcione ’14 to Saint Joseph’s, where they encountered an invitational tournament featuring tough, Division I level competition. Even though James Wieler ’13 and Malik Mubeen ’13 competed at home, they also faced DI-quality opponents. The Garnet seniors came into the tournament unfazed by their competition. “It’s always weird facing off against a school that has six times as many students and three times as many dining halls as yours,” Mubeen said, “but we try to treat it like any other match.” The duo of Wieler and Mubeen represented tiny Swarthmore in a big way, dispatching foes from Villanova and Lafayette on their way to a doubles championship.

The squad also enjoyed success in singles competition, with all four Garnet players picking up at least one victory. Both Stone and Carcione defeated foes from Drexel, and although each won just one match over the weekend, their teammates were impressed, especially in light of the tough competition the team faced. “It’s always important to compete against good competition in preparation of the spring season,” Wieler said, adding that “overall it was a pretty successful weekend.”

The Garnet men will conclude their fall season by sending Anthony Collard ’14 and Max Sacks ’15 to the regional ITA Tournament next weekend. Mubeen emphasized the team’s desire to have a strong final showing in the fall, saying, “we’re looking to get a couple guys deep into this tournament to end the fall season on a positive note.” After that, the team will turn its focus to the spring season, where it hopes to continue its run as a nationally-ranked powerhouse. Having graduated star players Zak Kelm ’12 and Max Bressman ’12, Wieler knows that “someone will need to step up and fill in their roles this spring.”

To do that, Swarthmore will count on Stone and Sacks have strong seasons. According to Mubeen, “both saw some time in the starting lineup last year and have been working hard to challenge for the top spots on our team.” Swarthmore will also look to Billy Lennon ’16 and Matt Hirsh ’16 to contribute towards the team’s goals. “We hope to be nationally ranked again,” Wieler said, with Mubeen adding that “we want to challenge Johns Hopkins for a berth in the NCAA tournament.” The Garnet men will face a tough Centennial Conference schedule this spring, but if this fall is any indication, it figures to be a fun and successful ride.

While the men were in Philadelphia, the Swarthmore women were in Virginia, competing against top-tier competition at the Southeast Regional Championship. Coach Jeremy Loomis expected the tournament — Swarthmore’s first road trip of the year — to be a “good measure fore us to build on for the spring.” Loomis was impressed with his team’s performance during the weekend, saying, “I was happy with how we responded from being somewhat sluggish in the morning on the first day.”

The team took several positives away from the weekend. Emily Rosenblum ’13, Kelsey Johnson ’13 and Jackie Lane ’16 all won singles matches. Swarthmore also found success in doubles play, where two duos — Rosenblum and Lane, and Johnson and Epiphany English ’14 — each picked up victories. The tournament provided the Garnet an opportunity to measure itself against regional competition, including Centennial Conference foes that the team will face again during spring conference play.

After they conclude their fall season this weekend, the Garnet women will turn their attention to preparing for the spring. The Garnet will spend the winter honing their skills. “We are excited to play more and keep improving,” Johnson said.

According to Loomis, the major focus of the winter will be conditioning, a goal that was reinforced by the weekend’s competition. “I watched the teams that played the best over this past weekend, and the overriding theme was that the person who was able to track down lots of balls, be consistent and not tire out was usually the victor at the end of the match,” he said.

Loomis hopes that the team can use the fall season as motivation to work hard this winter to put the team in strong position to reach the lofty goals it has set for itself. Johnson set her sights high, saying that, “we always try to make it to the finals of the Centennial Conference tournament.” As with the men, the Garnet women will look to get past a mighty Johns Hopkins Blue Jays squad in what will be an exciting and highly contested Centennial Conference season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The Phoenix

Discover more from The Phoenix

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading