Tennis Serves Success In Finale

Photo by Holly Lipka.

The tennis team finished up their regular season last week with a 7-2 victory over Union College on Thursday, April 23.

The game was originally scheduled to be played on April 4 but was postponed due to inclement weather. The win bumped the team’s record up to 12-7 for the season.

This was the final match for Hawks’ fourth-year co-Captains Devin Tracy and Jessica Schmidt, who finished their collegiate careers by notching an 8-2 victory in the doubles competition at flight one. The Hawks won the remaining matches in the doubles competition, as first-years Brittany Grandville and Carol Tyson won by a score of 8-4 at flight two. Then Hawks’ third-year Laura Tierney and second-year Olivia Ammirati pulled out their own 8-4 victory at flight three.

The Hawks were also victorious in four of the six matches in the singles competition. Ammirati won by scores of 6-3 and 6-2 at flight one. Tyson then prevailed with 6-4 and 6-1 victories at flight tree. Tierney earned the win with scores of 6-2 and 6-2 at flight five. Hawks’ first-year Emi Lewis followed Tierney with scores of 7-5 and 6-4 at flight six.

Head Coach Rob Bruley was very pleased with his team’s performance against a tough team, and in some tough weather conditions.

“This was a big win for us,” he said. “Union is a strong and improving team and they play in the Liberty League, one of the top Division III tennis conferences. They made a coaching change before the season and he brought in some strong players. We also had to battle against the elements, as it was snowing during the match.”

The Hawks participated in the New Paltz Tournament on April 25 to conclude their season. The Hawks got the chance to play a series of doubles matches against teams who they do not normally get to face.

Schmidt explained the importance of doubles matches during a game and why practicing them is so crucial.

“Winning doubles takes less pressure off for when we go into singles so it is really important to get as many doubles wins as possible,” she said. “We all played really well in the doubles tournament and for the rest of our season. It is a good sign for things to come for the team next year.”

One thing Schmidt says she will remember from her time at New Paltz was the Hawks’ rivalry with Geneseo and how every time they faced the Knights, the Hawks wanted to play their best.

“Beating them my sophomore year and doing so on our home courts was such a great feeling,” she said. “We unfortunately could not do it again in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) final that year but it was still a great accomplishment. I will also remember losing a heartbreak doubles match to them my junior year in the regular season and then coming back to beat the same team in the SUNYAC final. It just always meant something to play them and it was something I will never forget.”

The Hawks were defeated by the Geneseo Knights earlier this season in the final round of the 2014 SUNYAC Tournament on Oct. 12 by a score of 5-0.

Tracy also reflected on her memories as a Hawk. She explained what her favorite moment of this season was.

“What I’ll remember most from this season is beating Ithaca,” Tracy said. “Since I have been here we haven’t lost to them and they make nationals every year. It’s good to show other teams that we can beat schools who make it to nationals.”

Looking ahead to next season, Bruley was very encouraged by the improvement he saw from his team this past year.

“I’m very pleased with the way we have improved in our doubles play, not only on Saturday but dur-

ing our spring season we have improved in all areas of doubles,” he said. “This has been very positive for me as we move forward into the fall.”

With these improvements, Bruley has high expectations for his team next fall.

“[Next season] we look to establish ourselves in the northeast tennis region and compete for the conference championship,” he said. “Hopefully winning the conference and representing our program at the NCAA Championships in the spring.”