The women’s tennis team has started the 2018 campaign strong, playing matches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and in the Vassar College tournament to begin the season.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the team traveled to RPI to face the Engineers, however, the games were cut short due to rain. The following weekend, Sept. 15 and 16, they competed in the Vassar Tournament at Vassar College.
The Hawks are seeing an increase in team strength from the added freshman this semester.The team graduated four seniors last year, with roughly half the team comprised of freshman. So far, Hawks head coach Rob Bruley has been impressed by the young team’s performance.
“The quality of the freshman on the team this year is higher than usual,” Bruley said. “We have very high expectations for them this year.”
At RPI, the Hawks ended the day by winning two of three doubles matches and were winning four of their six singles matches before the weather turned.
First-year duo Trinity Chow and Laura Koob have impressed coaches and teams alike. They experienced a fantastic debut to their college career, defeating the No. 1 doubles team of Sonya Khudyakov and Sanja Surpapeni, 8-3
“My doubles partner and I are starting to work really well together,” Koob said. “I’ve wanted to play college tennis for a long time now and it feels great to have this victory on my record.”
Additionally, New Paltz’s second doubles pair Victoria Zezula and Lindsay Haley defeated RPI’s Mailani Neal and Nisha Rajamohan, 8-4.
On the first day of the Vassar Tournament, the Hawks only left with two victories.
Laura Koob put on another impressive performance, defeating New York University’s Judy Kam and Flyora Shiyanova. She played aggressive, hustling after every ball, accruing a 6-2, 6-3 and 7-5, 7-4, 6-2 victories against Kam and Shiyanova, respectively.
Trinity Chow fell to Connecticut College’s Emily Migliorini in a tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-2, 6-10. Additionally, team captain Lindsay Haley lost to NYU’s Ayesha Das in another tiebreaker, 6-4, 5-7,10-7.
The second day of the Vassar scramble on Sunday, Sept. 16, the Hawks finished the outing with seven single wins and a pair of doubles victories.
Koob continued her hot streak winning several matches against NYU’s Judy Kam (6-2, 6-3), Flyora Shiyanova (7-5, 6-3, 10-8) and Connecticut College’s Paige Braithwaite (6-3, 6-4). She and her doubles partner, Chow, went on to defeat Connecticut College’s Emily Migliorini and Flavey, 8-2.
Chow also earned a single’s victory against Vassar College’s Tara Edwards (4-6, 6-1, 11-9), while Ava Sweeney and Lindsay Haley took singles wins against Vassar’s Rachael Hahn (4-6, 6-1,10-8) and Flavey (0-6, 6-3, 10-6), respectively.
Victoria Zezula and Haley were the only other doubles pair to secure a victory, snagging a close 9-7 victory over Connecticut College’s Braithwaite and Tsang.
Both Coach Bruley and his athletes are optimistic for the rest of the season, as the SUNYAC championships creep closer.
“We’re tired of second place, so we’re really hoping to finish with a victory this year,” Haley said. “We’re the most confident that we can win the SUNYACs, with one of the strongest teams we’ve had in a while.”