By: Ian Snowdeal
The Springfield College men’s and women’s tennis teams competed in two home matches each this past weekend. The men notched a record of 1-1 with a loss against Wheaton College (0-9) and a win over Colby Sawyer College (5-4) pushing their overall record to 4-6. The women are continuing their successful season going 2-0 over the weekend, winning both matches 6-3.
After losing 9-0 to Wheaton on Saturday afternoon, the men’s team bounced back with a big victory over the Colby Sawyer Chargers. Head Coach Mike Louis believes it’s a step in the right direction.
“We’ve had some tough matches recently, but doing everything we’ve been practicing and have it carry over and do it in the matches, it shows there’s a lot more ahead of them,” Louis said.
Court Honda earned two wins for the Pride, winning with New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) duo of the week partner Drew DeLorenzo, 8-2 in No. 1 doubles and winning 6-1, 6-0 in No. 1 singles. Honda was dominant in both matches and is maintaining his impressive senior campaign.
The biggest takeaway from the men’s matches were a trio of freshmen. Jack Anastopoulos, Hieu Ton, and Lucas Van Deventer all secured wins to help push the team to their 5-4 win.
Anastopoulos won in No. 4 singles (6-0, 2-6, 6-3), Ton won in No. 6 singles (6-0, 5-2). With the Chargers and Pride knotted up at 4-4, Van Deventer was the men’s only hope of securing a victory. He started of his match taking the first set 6- 2 over junior Erik Antonacci. With the entire men’s team watching and hoping for a win Van Deventer pulled through for the Pride and took the second set 6-4 to give them their first home win of the season.
“In all of our matches we showed a lot of grit and willingness to believe in ourselves,” Louis said. With such a young team the men will continue to rely on their grit and belief in themselves throughout the rest of the season.
On the women’s side, Springfield continued its dominant season with two wins bringing their record to 9-2 on the season.
Saturday’s win was a historic one for the Pride as it defeated the Wheaton Lyons for the first time in 22 years, and also gave them its second conference win of the season pushing its record to 2-1 in conference play.
On Sunday the women were without one of their senior leaders, Emily Etter, but sophomore Hailey Higgins stepped up and gave the team two wins. One with partner Amanda Hill in No. 3 doubles (8-1) and in No. 6 singles (6-4, 6-1).
Louis said of losing Emily Etter, “Emily’s a big part of this team, she always puts up points for us and it always hurts when we miss her in the lineup, but it was a great team win and Hailey and Amanda stepped up in doubles and Hailey stepped up big at No. 6.”
Graduate assistant and former UMass-Amherst tennis player Anna Woosely added, “The biggest thing was mental toughness and it’s been great to see that over the weekend. I just wanted the women to believe in themselves and they did that.”
With five matches remaining for both the men and women, Louis is ready for the challenge.
“There’s a lot of opportunities left and we are looking forward to it. Wherever we end up in the conference it’ll be a step in the right direction for both teams.”
The Pride women will travel to Wellesley on Saturday at 11 am and the men will take travel to Western Connecticut State Friday at 3:30 pm.