The women’s tennis team has started out its season 2-0, and its mastery of an essential element of match play has been key the ‘Jackets keep cool under pressure.
Last weekend, UR faced off against the previously undefeated Ithaca College Bombers and came away with a close 5-4 win.
Head coach Matt Nielsen has a simple method to keep his team calm in tight matches like the one this weekend.
‘I tell them to focus on the ball and to stay in the present,” he said.
UR took the victory by nabbing four wins in the singles positions and one win at doubles.
The doubles win was a dominant one for the Yellowjackets in the No. 1 position by the duo of sophomore Lia Weiner and freshman Alexandra Goodman, 8-4.
However, the remaining doubles matches were both played down to the wire.
In the No. 2 spot, sophomore Elana Polivy and freshman Danielle Shreck were edged, 9-7, and senior Melinda Beckmann and freshman Jamie Bow just barely lost the third doubles match, 8-6.
Nielsen noted that they have not yet perfected the doubles lineup this season
‘We have been experimenting with our doubles lineup over the past few weeks to find the most effective combinations,” he said.
Nielsen also commented that doubles play is one of the team’s most recent improvements.
‘We have been focusing on doubles strategy and tactics in practices, and it is beginning to translate into the matches,” he said.
In singles play, Weiner easily defeated her opponent in the No. 1 spot, 6-0, 6-1.
In the second singles match, though, Goodman once again proved the ‘Jackets’ ability to get out of a tough situation. After falling behind by losing her first set, 4-6, she eked out a 7-5 win in the second set and eventually took the match with a 6-2 win in the final set.
In the No. 3 position, Shreck also battled through a three-set match before defeating her Bomber foe, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3. UR’s final win came from Polivy, who defeated her opponent in two sets, 6-3, 7-5.
This weekend, the Yellowjackets will host Division I Colgate University on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Raiders are currently 4-3, but they are on a win streak. All four of their wins have come in the past two weeks.
Nielsen noted that he is most focused on improvement.
‘Our goal is to have continual improvement of individual and team performance in each match,” he said.
Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.