Not even Saturday’s intermittent rain could stop Lords and Ladies tennis from dominating their opposition at the Kenyon Invitational, the teams’ first official competition of the season.
“We want to win the national championship,” Sam Geier ’16, who won the A Flight singles competition and the A Flight doubles competition for the Lords, said. “We lost a lot of guys from last year, so that’ll be hard, but everybody on the team is thirsty,” The Lords and Ladies did enough over the weekend to demonstrate that they have the tools to make it far.
“We performed well,” Head Coach Scott Thielke wrote in an email to the Collegian. “I expected both teams to be the strongest teams in the tournament, but our young players performed very well.”
In addition to Kenyon’s participation in the invitational, Ohio Wesleyan University, Allegheny College and Otterbein University were also invited to compete at the Jasper Tennis Center and VandenBerg Courts at Kenyon to battle it out in tournament-style singles and doubles matches.
Despite having six seniors graduate last spring, three of whom were captains, the Lords delievered a stellar performance at the invite, winning all five singles flights and all three doubles. Geier, who won all his singles matches in the A Flight in straight sets and the A Flight doubles competition with teammate Tristan Kaye ’17, stood out.
“Our coach laid out that we should win every draw and we went out and did that,” Geier said. “It was a pretty easy match overall.”
Nicholas Paolucci ’19, Alex Rieger ’18, Michael Liu ’18 and Anatol Doroskevic ’19 all boosted the Lords, each claiming singles victories in straight sets.
The Ladies, invigorated by youth this season, mirrored the Lords’ success, winning three of four singles flights, posting a 25-9 record overall, as well as winning both doubles flights. A quartet of first-year Ladies posted a 9-3 record in singles competition. Katherine McCauley ’19 and Margaret Sweeney ’19 faced off in the finals of the A Fight, with Sweeney coming away with a 7-6, 6-1 win.
“The combination of both the skill and chemistry makes us do very well,” Sweeney said of her first-year peers.
In the B Flight, Alyssa Moreau ’18 rallied to beat teammate Grace Winslow ’18 in the finals match, while Claire Cohen ’16 bested classmate Elise Altschuler ’16 in Flight C.
The Ladies dominated doubles play. Diana Aboubakare ’18 and Samantha Murphy ’16 won in the finals against a pair of teammates, signaling to the rest of the conference that they would continue to be a force this season. The Ladies finished with a combined doubles record of 13-4.
The purpose of the Kenyon Invitational is to prepare for the upcoming Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Central Region Championship. The Lords are away Sept. 25-28 in St. Louis while the Ladies travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the ITA Championship, from Oct. 2-5.