The women’s tennis team will compete in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament this upcoming weekend.
Their first match will be in the quarterfinals against SUNY Oswego (No. 4 West) on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 11:30 a.m. in Binghamton, New York.
New Paltz last faced Oswego during the 2014 season opener on Aug. 30, when the Hawks swept the Lakers 9-0.
If New Paltz makes it past the Lakers, they will play the winner of the SUNY Fredonia-SUNY Plattsburgh match the following day. The Hawks defeated SUNY Plattsburgh earlier this season 9-0 on Sept. 16, and last played Fredonia in last year’s quarterfinal round, and won 5-0.
The Hawks were originally scheduled to face The College at Brockport on Saturday, Oct. 1 in their fall regular season finale, but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
“They’re not the strongest of teams, but it could have been an opportunity to play some aggressive doubles,” Hawks head coach Rob Bruley said. “They do have one of the best players in Div. III playing for them, a German girl that has come over for a two month exchange program and she is really lighting it up. I would have liked Olivia [Ammirati], my number one, to have played her just for the experience of it. Unfortunately this sport is so determined by the weather. Two drops of rain and you’re done.”
Preparation for the tournament was then shifted to the team’s practices, where Bruley noted one area that the team has been focusing on.
“In light of our latest match against Geneseo that went to 5-4, we’re really focusing a lot on the doubles situation,” Bruley said. “I think we can get more out of our doubles teams, in fact I know we can. I want to try and get at least two points, but I see no reason why we can’t sweep all three doubles points.”
The Hawks have made it to the final round of the tournament every year since the 2002 season. New Paltz last won the tournament in 2010, and have lost to SUNY Geneseo in the finals every year since then. It is very likely that the two teams will meet again in the finals this year.
“It has been a long battle between the two programs for basically the last 14 years,” Bruley said. “It seemingly has always been the two of us in the finals. We’re going to rise to the occasion and I’d like to think that it’s our time, I’m tired of coming in second.”
The Hawks lost a very close match to Geneseo 5-4 earlier this season on Sept. 23.
“Any time you win or lose a 5-4 match, it could have gone either way,” Bruley said. “But it’s going to be tight, it really is. I think it will go down to the wire, as did our previous match. I just hope that we can come out on the winning side.”
SUNYAC Tournament Schedule
• (No. 1 East) New Paltz Vs. (No. 4 West) SUNY Oswego (Quarterfinals), Saturday, Oct. 8 at 11:30 a.m. at Binghamton Tennis Center
If the Hawks Win They Will Play:
The winner of (No. 3 East) SUNY Plattsburgh Vs. (No. 2 West) SUNY Fredonia in the semifinals on Sunday, Oct. 9 at Noon at Binghamton Tennis Center
The finals will be held on Monday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. at Binghamton Tennis Center