By MADALYN CROWELL
The Mary Washington’s men’s tennis team fell to Johns Hopkins 8-1 Sunday after defeating Hampden-Sydney 7-2 on Saturday. Both matches this weekend took place on the Eagles’ indoor home courts. The men worked hard and felt prepared for the pair of matches so close together.
“We have been training extremely hard all season, so to have back to back matches was nothing out of the ordinary,” senior Evan Goff said. “For NCAAs we often have to play 3 matches back to back to back, and we are in such good tennis shape that we weren’t affected.”
Sophomore Andrew Frisk said that the 22nd ranked Eagles expected to win against 29th ranked Hampden Sydney, but knew that the match against No. 10 Johns Hopkins would be a much greater challenge for the team.
“Hopkins played better than we did on Sunday and that was the difference between winning and losing,” Frisk said. “But we are definitely improving.”
Eagles Head Coach Todd Helbling was happy with the victory that the Eagles earned on Saturday.
“The match with Hampden Sydney went well. We got a very nice win at No. 1 doubles from senior Evan Goff and junior Kaz Murata. They are currently ranked No. 4 in the Atlantic South Region and in line to qualify for the NCAA Doubles Championships,” Helbling said.
Despite the later loss to Johns Hopkins, Helbling was proud of his team’s performance, particularly in the win taken by the No. 1 doubles team, Evan Goff and Brian Hope, which Helbling called a “big match.”
“We played some close sets, but we weren’t good enough,” Helbling said. “They are a very strong team, but we still need to be tougher and better. Overall, our guys have definitely been improving throughout the season, so that is a great positive.”
The Eagles have had a tough season, playing some great teams, including 11 top 25 teams in the nation and even a few division one teams. They have not been completely satisfied with their season, especially with a few upsetting, tough 4-5 losses. The players hope to take the CAC final win over Salisbury University, Friday and think that it will help to salvage the season. Goff is confident that the team’s upward slope will continue.
“A moderately successful season can change into a successful season with us capturing the CAC finals again over Salisbury on Friday and having a chance to continue on into NCAAs as a team,” Goff said.