The tennis team has opened their 2015 fall season with four straight wins.
Three out of the four wins were against State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Pool Play opponents and were played at home.
On Friday, Sept. 4, the Hawks defeated SUNY Cortland 8-1. The Hawks won two out of three doubles matches against the Red Dragons. Second-years Carol Tyson and Brittany Grandville won 8-4 in flight one for the Hawks. New Paltz fourth-year co-Captain Laura Tierney and third-year Olivia Ammirati defeated their opponents 8-0 in flight two.
In singles play, New Paltz recorded a sweep. Ammirati, Grandville took the victory in flight two, winning 6-2, 6-2 while Tyson went 6-2, 6-1 in flight three. In the fourth flight, Tierney won 6-4, 6-0 and fourth-year co-Captain Allie Starke won flight five 6-1, 6-1. First-year Lindsay Haley rounded out the Hawks line up in flight six and won 6-2, 6-1.
The following day, New Paltz earned a 9-0 shutout win against SUNY Oneonta and picked up ground in the Catskill Cup competition
For the second consecutive day, all Hawks singles matches resulted in a win.
The match marked the commencement of the first annual rival series between New Paltz and Oneonta. Each match up victor is awarded two points and the school with the most points at the end of the year will win the Catskill Cup. The winning school will maintain the trophy on its campus for the subsequent academic year.
On the third-straight day of matches, the Hawks clinched the No. 1 seed in the SUNYAC East with an 8-1 victory against SUNY Plattsburgh.
For the second time in as many days, the Hawks swept their opponents in doubles play. New Paltz swept the Cardinals in doubles action with Grandville and Tyson winning flight one in 8-5 while Tierney and Ammirati won 8-1 in flight two. Third-years Liz Palmer and Maryann Badura defeated their opponents 8-3 in flight three.
As for singles play, New Paltz took five out of six matches with wins by Ammirati, Grandville, Tyson, Tierney and second-year Emi Lewis.
Head Coach Rob Bruley said despite playing a trio of matches in three-straight days to open the season, the team knew the importance of performing well.
“Our team is very fit and can recover pretty quickly after each match,” Bruley said. “Knowing that we could not lose a match otherwise this would affect our conference seeding at the end of the season was also a great driving force for our athletes.”
The Hawks’ match against Rochester Institute of Technology was cancelled due to a change in schedule on Friday, Sept. 11.
The following day, the nonconference match between New Paltz and The College at Brockport was played on indoor courts at Salmon Creek Tennis Club.
While the Hawks made it through doubles play with wins at all three flights, the Golden Eagles showed resolve in flights one and three. Ammirati and Tierney provided the lone lopsided score in the doubles portion of the match, besting their counterparts by an 8-1 score.
After starting the 2015 fall season undefeated, Tierney said their record has boosted the team’s confidence.
“To open up the season with an undefeated record feels awesome and is a huge confidence booster,” Tierney said. “We have a great time on the court and always stay mentally tough, which is a huge part of winning.”
However, Bruley said the team still has more to improve on as the season moves along – especially doubles play.
“We still need to do a little bit more work in the doubles, that has always been our weak part of our game,” he said. “So we’re going to be doing nothing but doubles this week. We’re really focusing on that to try and get something out of doubles matches. That will be a very, very good match. This is something that I’m doing now until the end of the season, is really challenge them.”
The Hawks next host Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in a nonconference matchup at the North Tennis Courts on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.
After falling to the Engineers for the previous three years, the team is working hard to be on the winning side in this year’s matchup, Ammirati said.
“We are very determined to leave it all on the court,” she said.