On Friday, April 3 the New Paltz tennis team defeated Ithaca College 7-2.
The road victory by the Hawks was against the reigning Empire 8 Conference champions.
Only dropping two singles matches and sweeping their three doubles matches, the Hawks proved that they were ready to compete against their first post-Spring Break opponent. The win brought the Hawks’ current record to 11-6.
The Hawks were scheduled to play at home against Union College on Saturday, April 4, but the match was postponed due to rain. That match has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m.
The Hawks were propelled to victory over the Bombers by well-rounded efforts from each aspect of the team. The play of fourth-year co-Captain Devin Tracy and fourth-year co-Captain Jessica Schmidt resulted in a victory, 9-8 (7-5) at flight one. Tracy also contributed in singles play with a 6-0, 6-4 victory. First-year Brittany Grandville also fought back after losing the first set to pull out a tough three-set match win 2-6, 6-1, 10-6.
Head Coach Rob Bruley has been very pleased with his team’s play so far this season. He said both their wins and losses have been closely fought battles that have made him proud of his team’s grit and determination.
“We’ve been practicing and preparing ourselves since the first day of winter practices back in February,” Bruley said. “We know Ithaca is a good team, so to be able to go there and win was a big deal for us.”
Bruley also credited the Hawks on their serving this year, adding that it has been the best he has seen in a while.
“Our singles game has always been strong, and so has our service game this year, too,” Bruley said. “Where I’ve been trying to improve our team is in the doubles game. If you can win a couple of the doubles matches, it takes some of the pressure off of the singles players.”
Both Schmidt and third-year Laura Tierney had similar regards for the play of their team and an optimistic outlook for the rest of the season.
“It was a great win for us because Ithaca won their division and will be going to the NCAA Tournament,” Schmidt said. “It was nice to be able to win against them.”
Tierney echoed Schmidt’s enthusiasm about the team’s play against Ithaca.
“We won all three doubles, and had a harder time in singles, but pulled through and won,” Tierney said.
The Hawks’ home match against Stevens Institute of Technology was cancelled on Wednesday, April 8 due to wet court conditions and the impending forecast calling for more precipitation.
The Hawks have three matches remaining before the New Paltz Tournament on Saturday, April 25. They face SUNY Plattsburgh on Friday, April 17 at 6 p.m.
Schmidt said if the team plays like they did against Ithaca, they should have a strong finish.
“I think we can finish off successful and strong,” she said.