Raggio’s Rally: Recapping the first set of non-conference matches


Peyton McKenzie

Freshman Vera Sekerina won her first collegiate match against Merrimack on Jan. 28.

Ryan Raggio, Staff Writer

The Quinnipiac men’s and women’s tennis teams started their seasons in mid-January and have progressed down the road to the MAAC championship and a NCAA berth.

The women’s program is the reigning MAAC champions after sweeping their way to last year’s title. The Bobcats started off the season 0-2, losing to Harvard (4-0) and Yale (7-0), before earning their first win against Merrimack (4-3). Since the 0-2 start, the defending MAAC champions are 2-1 and are poised for another title run.

Quinnipiac women’s head coach Paula Miller has said in the past that she makes a tough schedule for her team to prepare them for the in-conference matchups which round out the last five matches of the season.

“We have seven losses because we played some really good teams,” Miller said. “This is to get ready for the MAAC and hopefully, we can win all of our matches.”

This strategy has proven effective as the women’s team have won the MAAC championship six times during Miller’s 10-year tenure as head coach.

The team’s first MAAC matchup comes on March 4, against Niagara. Their next won’t be until April 1, against Mount St. Mary’s which starts the aforementioned five-game stretch against MAAC opponents to finish the season.

Graduate student Kamilla Nella recently won the MAAC co-player of the week after achieving her 92nd career win in Quinnipiac’s 6-1 loss against Delaware. Senior Claire Koscielski, senior Jordan Bradley and Nella round out the top three in the singles slots for Quinnipiac.

Despite the young season, the three can each add one meet to their highlight reel. Against Merrimack, Koscielski had a perfect day going 18-0, winning the doubles match with senior Alessia Truden 6-0 and both of her singles matches 6-0. Quinnipiac’s win over Hofstra went on the heels of Bradley’s impressive day on the court as she won both her doubles match, with Nella, and both of her singles matches 6-2 and 6-4.

The men’s team is looking for redemption after falling to Monmouth (4-0) in the MAAC finals last season. Quinnipiac’s new head coach, Bryan Adinolfi, took over after former head coach, Chris Pappas, left in the off season. So far, his team holds a 2-5 overall record.

Quinnipiac dropped its first two matches of the spring to Brown (7-0) and St. John’s (6-1). The team played Merrimack for its first home match of the year and did not disappoint. History repeated itself, as the Bobcats came out on top with a strong 5-2 victory. Since the win, the Bobcats have lost three matches in a row and look to rest up and bounce back for their upcoming match against North Dakota on Feb. 25.

Winning the doubles point can determine the winner once the singles matches end. If each team wins three singles matches, the doubles point would be the deciding factor.

Adinolfi expressed time and time again how important it is for his team to win the doubles point to ultimately set the tone for the rest of the match.

“The doubles point is big if we want to have a chance of winning the conference,” Adinolfi said.

Senior Kemal Karagozoglu and junior Shaurya Sood have been on fire in the doubles match-ups. Having won their last four matches together, the pair holds a 4-2 doubles record this season. The combination of Karagozoglu’s towering 6-foot-4 frame at the front of the net with Sood’s quickness at the backline gives opponents trouble.

“My main goal is to always be the big man out there,” Karagozoglu said. “Just attack, be aggressive, use my size and my arm length. I just try to dominate and not let the opponents control the game.”

Both teams have had slow starts, but when it comes time for conference play, they dial it up. While the women’s team looks to defend their title and add more hardware to the trophy room, the men’s team is out for redemption and is looking to seize a title in Adinolfi’s debut year as head coach.