Women’s tennis splits on new courts

The GW women’s tennis team split a home weekend, getting swept by visiting American Sunday after trouncing James Madison 6-1 Saturday. The team improves to 2-2 as it gets set to host Maryland-Baltimore County Sunday in the third of a six-match home stand.

American moved to 1-0 with a 6-0 sweep inside the bubbled tennis facility at the Mount Vernon Campus, torching GW in singles. The Eagles won each singles match in straight sets, with the exception of No. 4 and No. 5, when GW’s Sevla Gonca and junior Samantha Fisher each forced and lost tiebreakers.

Despite the loss, GW welcomed back the return of Fisher, who was sidelined with an elbow injury last fall. Fisher extended her set at No. 5 singles to a tie break, and lost to Kristina Georgieva 6-0, 4-6, (10-6).

On Saturday the Colonials won five of six singles matches for the 6-1 defeat of James Madison.

Colonials head coach Helen Andrews, a GW graduate and first-year coach, said the previous weekend’s 5-2 win against Georgetown provided the momentum for Saturday’s win.

“The doubles matches were very close,” Andrews said, referring to the 8-5 doubles win by Lindy First and Tracy Wei, and the 8-3 win by Nazli Gencsoy and Katarina Stastny. “The momentum from winning doubles point definitely carried over into the singles.”

GW won its first four singles matches, highlighted by First’s 6-4, 6-2 win over Margie Zesinger. Andrews said First is playing “the best I’ve seen her play yet.”

At No. 6 singles, Stastny conquered Brittany Rowley, who she had lost to in the fall, and pulled out a 6-2, 7-6 win.

Freshman GW player Phyllis Joe called JMU “a hard team,” but was confident in her team because GW is “a strong team this year.”

Playing in the new Mount Vernon tennis facility is a much needed and appreciated improvement for the team, which previously played in community tennis courts in Virginia and downtown D.C. These facilities provided for little for spectators, and little home-court advantage.

“It was pretty ghetto,” Joe commented.

Coach Andrews said she is grateful to have the new facility.

“Support from the fans help team spirit,” she said.

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