After a spring semester featuring some of the toughest competition in the east, the New Paltz Tennis team captured its home tournament title on Saturday, April 28. The tournament marked the last competition for the team during the 2012 spring season.
The Hawks competed in 45 sets during the tournament and went undefeated in every match. Head Coach Robert Bruley said the tournament was a great way for the team to close out their spring season.
“The tournament was amazing, we try to invite as many teams as we can,” Bruley said. “We had four of our conference competitors come out to play, as well as Hunter and Mount St. Mary, two teams who won their conferences and are going to nationals next week. There was a lot of high-end quality talent there and it’s great that we were able to win the title.”
Bruley said while the tournament is a relaxed atmosphere, there is still an air of competitiveness surrounding the Hawks, who Bruley said have established themselves as an upper-tier team in NCAA Div. III tennis.
“Everyone likes to relax and have fun, but we’re still competitive,” Bruley said. “A lot of teams like to end their seasons with a tournament like ours because it’s nice, but fast-paced tennis.”
Third-year Captain Kayla DiPaulo said the spring season serves as a great help in preparing for the fall, as the team gets a chance at competing against some of the best teams in the northeast.
“I think the spring season greatly prepares us for the fall even though there’s such a big time gap between spring and fall,” DiPaulo said. “We play higher ranked teams in the spring, especially The College of New Jersey, who actually invited us down to play for the first time in many years, so that was a great compliment to how far our team has come. I believe playing better teams definitely helps us improve as players, which will help us for the fall season.”
After a fall season which saw the Lady Hawks fall to SUNYAC-rival Geneseo in the conference finals, Bruley said the team was ready to swing back into spring and come together as a team. He said the spring break trip to Florida helped to develop the team’s chemistry because the team “really clicked.”
Bruley also said the spring helps first-year players fall into a groove with more ease. It’s the time where recruiting is at the forefront of a coach’s mind, and Bruley believes the recruits he has coming in next season will be able to make a quick impact on the team.
“We’re losing two seniors, one of which is Ingrid [Maryansky], who is going to be very, very difficult to replace,” Bruley said. “I think one of the recruits we’re getting will definitely come in and have a serious shot at starting, but replacing Ingrid is by no means going to be easy, and may not happen immediately.”
DiPaulo said the team will prepare for the fall by working out at home, with some members of the team set to participate in summer leagues. She said with the way the team played over the spring and depending on the team’s progression concerning their aggression, the chances of winning a SUNYAC title in the fall are high.
“I believe me as well as my team could improve on our aggressiveness. I think that’s the one thing that we may be somewhat lacking, or at least, it’s what sets us apart from the teams who are at the next level so to speak,” DiPaulo said. “I believe that’s what could take our team to the next level, and win SUNYACs in the fall.”