The men’s and women’s tennis teams ended their fall season with a bang. In Lawrenceville, N.J., the Dragons swept Rider 7-0 Oct. 25 in what can only be described as a massacre.
As head coach Tricia Udicious said, “It was a total team performance. All three doubles teams looked great, and all six singles played well.”
The doubles players set the tone with six immediate victories. On the men’s side, Badr Ouabdelmoumen and Nikoloz Kurdadze took down the Broncs’ No. 1 pair of Rollie Malfitano and Nick Lubold, 8-3. The No. 2 doubles team for the Dragons, Bryan Nguyen and Skyler Davis, didn’t allow the Broncs to earn a single game, beating their opponents 8-0.
Finally, Jeganathan Srinivasan and Daniel Hansen, who hold the No. 3 doubles spot, defeated Joe Dente and Jeff Page in an 8-2 victory.
The women’s doubles teams absolutely dominated the Broncs and allowed just one game throughout their three matches.
The top-seeded Zevnep Mafa and Marcela Rosales beat Marly Roche and Michelle Caravaglio of Rider 8-3. Drexel’s No. 2 team of Nicole Pivonka and Emma Brook and No. 3 team of Sonja Stosic and Alex Bell, each shut out their opponents.
Off to a soaring start, both the men’s and women’s teams moved on to singles, where they continued their domination over the helpless Broncs.On the men’s side, Ouabdelmoumen proved how effective he can be at the top of the Dragon ranks with a 6-0, 6-0 win over his opponent, Malfitano.
Ouabdelmoumen wasn’t the only men’s single player to show no mercy — No. 4 singles player Davis also had a 6-0, 6-0 sweep.
Not far behind were No. 3 Nguyen and No. 6 Paul Stauskas, who each gave up only one game in their matches.
Finally, No. 2 singles player Kurdadze only gave up three games, while Hansen at No. 5 just gave up two. All in all, the men’s performance was solid to say the least.
For the women, the six singles players gave up a total of only four games. No. 1 Mafa and No. 3 Rosales each beat their opponents 6-1, 6-0, while No. 2 Brook gave up just two games to Caravaglio.
The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-ranked singles players for the women — Stosic, Bell and Aysenil Orhon, respectively — won each of their matches 6-0, 6-0.
“They have been working very hard all fall,” Udicious said. “Confidence comes from good preparation, and they were ready [against Rider].”
Prior to the matchup against Rider, the men’s and women’s teams had an action-packed few weeks of play this fall. The men first competed at the St. Joseph’s Invitational, where four of the guys made the semifinals of their flights before the rain kicked in and forced the doubles to be canceled.
Almost a month later, Oct. 13, some of the men competed at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Championships at Cornell. In the first round, Ouabdelmoumen beat Jason Lin of the University of Pennsylvania, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, but fell to Soufiane Azargui in the round of 64.
Kurdadze also competed in the tournament but lost in the first round of his bracket to Danny Riggs of Cornell, 6-1, 6-1.
For men’s doubles, although Davis and Ouabdelmoumen put forth a strong effort, they lost in the first round.
The women had an even bigger handful of matches to play in the fall. The first tournament took place at the University of Pennsylvania Sept. 23-25, where Pivonka made it to the round of 16 at the Cissie Leary Invitational.
Just a week later, the women partook in the St. Joseph’s Invitational, where they made the best of a rainy situation. Rosales won her singles flight, where she also played doubles with Mafa and reached the finals. The doubles team of Stosic and Bell also made the finals of their flight at the tournament.
The women steamrolled Monmouth Oct. 14, defeating the Nighthawks in a 7-0 sweep.
Finally, in their last competition prior to Rider, Mafa took part in the ITA Championships at Yale, where Hanna Yu of Penn knocked her out in the first round.
Although both the women and men had ups and downs throughout the season, the Dragons finished the fall on a high note. As Udicious put it, “Every win helps, but they know the competition is only going to get tougher, so they need to work even harder to keep the confidence going this winter.”
The teams plan on working harder to maintain that confidence and high level of play for the 2012 spring season.