After defeating State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) rival Plattsburgh on Sept. 15, the Hawks fell to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at home before traveling to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Div. III Regional Tournament in Saratoga Springs.
The tournament was held at Skidmore College from Sept. 23-25 and head coach Rob Bruley was excited for his players to participate.
“It’s really good for the program,” Bruley said. “The standard and level of play is high [when] competing against the best Div. III athletes in the Northeast.”
Co-captain Carol Tyson kicked off the tournament with a first round win in singles over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 6-2 and 6-3, but was eliminated after suffering a defeat against NYU 6-2, 6-1.
Fourth-years Emi Lewis and Brittany Grandville were knocked out in the first round, but Lewis was able to take away a win against Ithaca College 8-6 and Grandville shutting out Hamilton College 8-0 in consolations. They were both knocked out in the following round.
Tyson and Grandville then suffered a loss in doubles against Union College, while Lewis and first-year Courtney Koran were defeated by William Smith 8-2. Both set of partners lost in consolation play.
Bruley said the tournament was good for New Paltz to compete against the top players in the region.
“We played really well in doubles,” he said. “If you can play aggressive in ITA doubles, there’s no reason you can’t play [against SUNYAC rivals].”
Prior to the tournament, the Hawks defeated Plattsburgh at the North Tennis Courts 8-1 before losing to RPI 6-3.
In the former match, Tyson and second-year Victoria Zezula were locked in a stalemate, but were able to persevere and take the final three games and earn the point in first doubles.
Fourth-year Taylor Mormile and second-year Jessica Reich fell 8-3 in third doubles, but first-year Jenna Grandville and third-year Lindsay Haley dominated in third and sixth singles, respectively, with a score of 6-0.
Brittany Grandville took first singles for New Paltz 6-1, 6-0 followed by Tyson, Koran and Lewis each taking their matches with a win.
After the Hawks recent matches, Bruley remains positive.
“It’s not necessarily about wins or losses, but if we can improve everyday, we will be a better team for it,” he said. “You get out of practice what you put in.”
Bruley continued that the seniors know their time at New Paltz is coming to an end and have really stepped up, as well as the younger players.
“Brittany [Grandville], Carol [Tyson] and Emi [Lewis] have really stood up recently,” he said. “Courtney Koran and the freshmen have also performed under a lot of pressure.”
Against RPI, Bruley’s team performed well in doubles, much to his pleasure. Jenna Grandville and Zezula won at third doubles 8-5, but had to play a game of catch up after losing at first and second doubles.
Haley opened with a 6-3 win in at sixth singles, followed by wins at fourth and fifth singles by Lewis and Koran, respectively, but dropped first, second and third singles in an eventual 6-3 defeat.
The Hawks will be back in action Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 with matches against SUNYAC rivals Geneseo and Brockport before facing Oneonta next month.
“Oneonta has played really well,” Bruley said. “It’s an important match because it will determine who has the No. 1 seed.”
Bruley concluded that while the players go out there everyday to win, what is also important is to learn from mistakes.