It was quite the weekend of wins in Binghamton for the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz’s women’s tennis team.
Their success story started Friday, Oct. 4 at 9 a.m. The Lady Hawks were set to face their biggest rival, the Geneseo Knights. With both teams having 4-0 records in the SUNY Athletic Conference (SUNYAC), the urgency to win in order to clinch the top seed in the playoffs had never been greater.
Second-years Laura Koob and Trinity Chow started doubles off strong, earning a triumphant 8-0 match win. The next set was not as easy for the Hawks, with fourth-year Victoria Zezula and third-year Jenna Grandville engaging in a competitive battle against Geneseo’s second-years Natalia Krol and Julianna Schulz. By the end of the set, the Hawks fell 8-7, creating the third and final set (a high pressure situation) in order to see who would have the lead going into singles. Luckily for the Hawks, first-year Onalee Batcheller and second-year Alexandra Dratch were there to step up to the plate, dominating the Knights with a 8-1 victory.
Heading into singles with a 2-1 advantage, the Hawks were ready to fight stronger and harder. The Hawks defeated the Knights in all six rounds of singles with wins from Chow, Koob, Zezula, Grandville, Batcheller and second-year Alex Chimenti.
Although the big weekend in Binghamton was not yet over for the Hawks, the ladies started out fierce by conquering previously undefeated SUNY Geneseo.
The next day on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. the Hawks were due to face the Fredonia State Blue Devils. It was another successful day for women’s tennis as they defeated their opponents 9-0.
Once again, Koob and Chow performed exceptionally in the first set of doubles, beating the Blue Devils 8-0. Zezula and Grandville faced another aggressive battle during the second set, but this time the duo came out victorious over their competitors 8-6. Batcheller and Dratch secured the next win, allowing the Hawks a 3-0 lead heading into singles.
Both Chow and Koob won their matches with two shut-out sets of 6-0, followed by Zezula beating her opponent 6-4 and 6-2, and Grandville coming out on top 6-3 and 6-0. The fifth set continued with Batcheller conquering her sets 6-0 and 6-1. The Hawks ended singles the same way they started, with two shut-out sets of 6-0 by Chimenti.
The wins against both Geneseo and Fredonia meant New Paltz had secured the top seed in the conference playoffs. With their biggest goal met, there was only one thing left to do for the Hawks in Binghamton–finish the regular season strong against SUNY Brockport.
On Sunday, Oct. 6 at noon, the Hawks swept the Golden Eagles 9-0 to finish off their weekend trip. Second-years Ava Sweeney and Emma Messenger made late-season appearances in the singles lineup and performed strongly to end the season on a high note.
SUNY New Paltz will head back to Binghamton for the SUNYAC semi-finals matchup on Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. where they will face No. 4 seed SUNY Cortland. The winner of that match will either face No. 2 seed SUNY Oneonta or No. 3 seed SUNY Geneseo (depending on who wins) in the championship round on Oct. 13 with a start time yet to be determined. Going into finals with this kind of momentum will surely be in the Hawks’ favor.