By KATHERINE SELTZER
Both the men and women’s tennis teams have been successful this fall season, which began Sept. 16 at the UMW Kickoff Classic. The UMW tennis teams have competed in three tournaments over the course of the season. The men’s team participated in the Navy Invitational tournament, the women’s team participated in St. Joseph’s University Invitational tournament and both teams played in UMW Kickoff Classic along with the ITA Regional Championships. Head Coach of the men’s team, Todd Helbling, described some of the highlights of their season.
At the Navy tournament, he said there were about ten teams, including with UMW, Christopher Newport University and Johns Hopkins University making up the Division 3 participants. Helbling said that despite the added challenge of facing primarily D1 teams, “Everyone [who] played was really solid, so every match was a good match.”
Helbling also talked about the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional tournament, held here at Mary Washington since Sept. 29 and lasting until Oct. 2 for the men’s team. “There’s eight of these tournaments around the country, and the winners of the singles and doubles portion of each tournament go on to advance to nationals,” Helbling said.
There, Cole Tecce and Moses Hutchison, the only two freshmen on the team, advanced to the B-Draw competition and played each other in the finals, with Tecce taking the victory. Also at the ITA tournament, two doubles teams, Matthew Miles and Michael Fleming with Patrick Hughes and Derek Hagino, made it to the semifinals, where the final four teams competed. Juniors Hughes and Hagino, won in both the semifinals and finals which gave them All-American status. It qualified them to participate in the ITA Small College National Championship this month in Georgia.
The UMW women’s tennis team was also highly successful at the ITA Regional tournament, which was held on campus Sept. 22-25. Caroline Mosberg, Danielle Mirabella and Kait Brogan all made it to the quarterfinals for singles. Mosberg and her doubles partner, Rachel Summers, advanced to the semifinals. Summers, a sophomore, won the ITA Regionals championship making her the first UMW singles player to win the bracket since 2000.
She will compete in the ITA Small College National Championship later this month. At the St. Joseph’s Invitational Tournament, Danielle Mirabella and Olivia Moore with Rachel Cooper and Sara Fioretti, captured consolation titles.
Patrick Catullo, head coach of the women’s tennis team, said team goals for the spring season include being an ITA All Academic Team, with a team cumulative GPA of 3.2 or above, as well as advancing to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament and getting ranked in the top 15 in the nation. “We have a terrific group of players on the team this year… and they are all going to help contribute to the success of this program in achieving the goals for the season,” Catullo said.
Junior Danielle Mirabella talked about the team’s supportive attitudes, “Fall season is very individual, but we always supported one another… [while we were] playing,” she said.
Both tennis teams are looking forward to continuing their success for the remainder of the fall season and beyond into the spring and hope fans will come out to support the players and the school.
“Tennis is anything but boring, and we love any support during matches,” said Summers.