The Quinnipiac men’s and women’s tennis teams started their seasons victoriously by earning wins in dual matches against Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. last Tuesday.
On the men’s side, the Bobcats scored a decisive 7-0 victory. The ‘Cats defeated the Saints in each of their three doubles matches and six singles matches. Quinnipiac won each of the singles matches in the minimum of two sets.
Senior Stefano Salvatore described the match as a cohesive team effort. “Everybody just played well and hard,” he said.
The first doubles team consisting of Salvatore and fellow senior Goldy Sherrill, as well as the third doubles team of freshman John Hughes and Charles Feldman, have earned an undefeated 6-0 record this season.
Despite the lopsided score, Siena represented a solid opponent for the Bobcats so early in the season.
“It was a good experience for the freshmen to come in and get a decent team,” Salvatore said.
Quinnipiac head coach Mike Quitko emphasized that such a clear-cut victory resulted from a team effort.
“I think we all played well,” he said. “It’s hard to pull anybody out when you win 7-0.”
The men’s team will play next when they travel to Storrs to participate in the UConn Invitational on Sept. 29.
The women’s side of the match paired off two teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament a season ago.
The Quinnipiac women faced a more difficult path to victory, edging the Saints 4-3 in a dramatic comeback win.
The Bobcats began their first 2006-2007 competition earning a point by winning two of three doubles matches.
Quinnipiac then quickly fell behind as senior Gabby Pasternak, sophomore Jackie Herb, and junior Amanda Petruzzi lost in their first, second, and fourth singles slots respectively.
These defeats put the Bobcats in a hole but set the stage for a dramatic comeback.
“Our No. 3, our No. 5, and our No. 6 all won their singles matches so we were able to pull out a 4-3 win,” the women’s team captain, Pasternak said.
Freshman Mary Wilson played an instrumental role in the Bobcats’ comeback victory in her first collegiate athletic experience. She earned an 8-2 doubles victory teamed with Pasternak, before clinching the match with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Siena junior Karina Davis.
“She actually won the match for us so she had a great first day out,” Pasternak said.
Sophomore Kasey Rosenberger in the fifth slot and senior Danielle Rodriguez in the sixth slot also contributed to the comeback win. Rosenberger won 6-2, 6-3, while Rodriguez defeated Molly Scullin in straight sets 6-0, 6-0.
The competition was the first dual match for Quinnipiac tennis this year. A dual match is a match where men’s and women’s teams from one school face off against men’s and women’s teams from another. The men’s team had previously played in the Fairfield Doubles Festival on Sept. 10.
Salvatore and Sherrill earned NEC Player of the Week honors for their efforts in winning the flight one doubles championship at the festival.
Quitko saw the match as a learning experience for his team at this early stage in the season. The men’s and women’s teams earned their third consecutive NEC title last season and they look to continue that sparkling run.
“We learned a lot about what we need to work on,” Quitko said.