The SUNY New Paltz women’s tennis team won a close 5-4 match at Ithaca College on Saturday, March 25. They played at the indoor Glazer Arena on the Ithaca campus.
The team collected two doubles and three singles victories, the winning point scored by second-year Isabel van der Veen, who won her singles sets 6-3 and 6-2.
Van der Veen explained how the match was “a big confidence booster” for the team. “It was important because it showed us that we can be competitive with other high-level teams,” she said.
After the winning streak that the team had in their Fall 2022 and overall 2021-22 season, the pressure is on for the rest of this spring. In the fall, the Hawks went 7-1 through their matches and held a perfect conference score of 7-0, earning them the top spot at the SUNYAC Tournament.
Regarding the team’s past few matches in Orlando, FL before their Ithaca game, Coach Rub Bruley said “I think this is our toughest spring break trip yet and I did this purposely.”
The difficulty of opponents was a big factor in the team’s performance. They lost three out of four of the spring break trip matches, further showing why their match at Ithaca was a much-needed morale booster.
The tennis team’s win was built on hard work from every player. When discussing her singles win that clinched the game for the team, van der Veen said, “It could have been any one of us that would have been the last match and we all would’ve shown up like I did.”
Furthermore, she explained how important the win was, specifically to her, after a long year of battling injuries.
Aside from her solo win, van der Veen won her doubles match with partner and fellow second-year Amirah Alston with a tight final score of 8-7.
Among the other winners was third-year Loretta Donovan, taking her match with set scores of 2-6, 7-6 and 6-1. Donovan grabbed another win for the team during her doubles match with her partner, first-year Justine Stanejko, with a close score of 8-6.
Fourth-year Onalee Batcheller, playing her last season on the team, won her singles match with set scores of 7-5 and 6-1. Batcheller was previously named the SUNYAC Women’s Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year for the 2021-22 season and SUNYAC Rookie of the Year for the 2019-20 season.
Their match at Ithaca College furthered the team’s winning streak for the season to a staggering 9-4 overall match score. Looking towards the near future, the tennis season is leading up to their conference championship. “I think our team is hungry to win the title this year and I’m excited to see how we compete there,” van der Veen said.
The New Paltz women’s tennis team will play their next match on Wednesday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m. at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Go Hawks!