Saturday’s doubleheader for the sixth ranked University of Mary Washington women’s tennis team instilled a big boost of confidence for what promises to be a productive and successful season.
The team improved their record from 3-1 after their match up against Division I schools George Mason University and Towson University at the UMW Indoor Tennis Center.
Their Division III standing did not deter them from coming out fighting in their first match against the George Mason Patriots. Beginning the morning with a round of doubles the Eagles came out on top. They played with poise; as each of the five courts began winning their sets the Eagles respectfully gathered in the center of court three to watch the remaining matches on courts one and two which ultimately resulted in the convincing sweep of GMU in the doubles round.
After a strong win early in the day, the Eagles were eager to continue with singles in hopes of replicating the morning’s earlier victory. Coming off the court after doubles, freshman Jocelyn Lewis was pleased with the team’s initial response to D-I competition.
“We’re really pumped up,” Lewis said. “We just want to keep playing, especially when we have the momentum.”
The defeat of the Patriots in doubles enhanced the Eagles’ confidence about the remainder of the sets that day.
“We’re ready,” freshman Debbie Chang said. “Everyone feels pretty happy.”
After doubles the match quickly moved into the singles round. After a brief warm-up the Eagles moved into yet another offensive posture to win all but one singles match.
Sophomore Meg Lawlor, who is injured and incapable of competing tracked the Eagles’ progress and observed their performance throughout the day.
“They’re looking pretty strong,” Lawlor said. “[They] seem pretty confident; so they can vary it up and try new things.”
The morning resulted in a 6-1 victory for the Eagles, putting them in a confident position going into the afternoon match against the Towson Tigers.
The Eagles played just as strong in the afternoon as they did in the morning. After doubles it was apparent that it was going to take a lot to prevent the ladies from continuing their streak of collected athletic enthusiasm and exceptional execution.
The team pulled out another sweep in doubles and clinched a victory in singles with four of six players capitalizing on the day’s earlier momentum. By the end of both rounds UMW had topped Towson in a 7-2 win.
Coach Patrick Catullo was please with his team’s performance and has high expectations for their future chances against other opponents they will face.
“They played with a tremendous amount of discipline and confidence,” Catullo said. “[I] expected my team [to] execute well and play with confidence and they accomplished both of those tasks.”BY SARAH ALVAREZ