After completing inconsistent regular seasons this week, the GW men’s and women’s tennis teams are preparing for the Atlantic 10 Championships, which begins Friday at Virginia Tech.
The men’s team ended its regular season with a 6-1 loss at American University Saturday. The Colonials last scheduled match against Old Dominion University Tuesday was canceled. The GW men are 6-14 heading into the A-10 Championships.
The women’s team, which placed second in last year’s A-10 Championships, finished its regular season with a 5-4 loss at Georgetown University Monday. The Colonial women are 6-11 this season.
“I think we can take second place again, as long as we stay focused,” women’s tennis head coach Tracy Tooke said of the A-10 Championships. “Our talent goes without speaking. We just have to show up ready to fight, and we will.”
Tooke said Massachusetts, Temple and host Virginia Tech will be the Colonial women’s biggest competition at the championships, which conclude Sunday.
The GW women will once again play without number one player Helen Andrews, who has missed much of the season with a protruding disc. Tooke said she had hoped to get a medical red-shirt for Andrews, but Andrews was ineligible because she had played in 20 percent of the team’s matches in the fall season.
Junior Julie Kim replaced Andrews at the number one singles position and had an inconsistent spring season. Kim is 6-11 in singles competition this year, 4-11 as the top singles player and has won her last two matches.
“Julie has really battled back this spring,” Tooke said. “When she gets it together and keeps it together, she can beat almost any number one player.”
Holly Huntley has had a solid spring season for GW playing at the number three and four singles positions. Huntley is 10-6 in singles competition this season and is 5-0 playing doubles with Sarine Weingarten. Huntley was named the team’s Most Valuable Player Wednesday.
“Holly has a lot of energy and has definitely kept the team’s spirits up,” Tooke said.
The GW women suffered through a tough stretch earlier in the spring, losing eight consecutive matches at one point. The Colonial women broke the losing streak with an 8-4 win at American April 8 but then fell to N.C. State University 5-4 at home two days later. The team beat the Air Force Academy 6-3 Saturday.
“We went through a miserable stretch but built some momentum the last couple of matches,” Tooke said. “With each match, we’ve gotten a lot tougher mentally.”
The men’s team finished third at last year’s A-10 Championships and is seeded third again going into this year’s tournament. Anders Bergkvist, who has compiled a 10-7 singles record at the number one and two positions, said he believes the men’s team could finish in the top two or three at the A-10 Championships. He said the toughest competition would come from Temple and three-time defending champion Virginia Tech.
“We’re excited for A-10s. We’ve got a shot at doing well,” Bergkvist said. “It would be great to send off the seniors with an A-10 title.”
The men’s team has also had an inconsistent season. The team won three-straight matches March 31 through April 5, easily defeating Howard University, Duquesne and St. Bonaventure. However, the Colonials enter the championships on a three-match losing streak, with the latest defeat coming at American Saturday.
Bergkvist said the team has been playing better, though, and expects to play well at the A-10 Championships.