The Marquette men’s and women’s tennis teams saw their seasons end quicker than they would’ve liked in the Big East Championships due to inclement weather conditions. Both squads were in the midst of taking on Georgetown in the consolation round Saturday after losing on Friday when rain washed out the matches.
The seventh-seeded women’s team entered play with a tough loss as senior Olga Fischer sprained her ankle after stepping on a ball in practice. Fischer would not play for the rest of the tournament and coach Jody Bronson moved senior Gillian Hush to the No. 1 spot in singles play.
Despite the injury to one of its star players and leaders, the Golden Eagles swept 10th-seeded St. John’s in the first round 5-0 before dropping their second round matchup 4-0 to No. 2 South Florida later in the day.
Bronson said her team was left in a tough spot with Fischer out of the lineup, but a win in the doubles round against the Red Storm boosted her team’s confidence and carried them to the impressive win.
“We won the doubles point with all new teams,” Bronson said. “Tina (Radan) and Ana (Pimienta) hadn’t played together before and Gillian (Hush) and Vanessa (Foltinger) hadn’t played together before, so it was a whole new look there. It was a great win and it gave us a lot of energy.”
Hush, Radan, freshmen Ali Dawson, Foltinger and Pimenta and sophomore Rocio Diaz all won their singles matches, allowing Marquette to advance to the second round.
In the loss to the Bulls, Bronson said her team simply didn’t show up as they had in round one and that South Florida was clearly the better team, but the next day the Golden Eagles would play well above their seed.
Before the rain and wind forced the consolation match’s cancellation, Marquette had the fifth-seeded Hoyas right where it wanted them. The Golden Eagles had secured the doubles point and won all of their first sets in the singles round, dominating Georgetown.
“We were just on a roll, we were on a tear,” Bronson said. “Every player knew that they had to pick it up with Olga (Fischer) out of the lineup and they were so energized and focused on winning the match. If we had had another 20 minutes or so I’m confident we would’ve beaten the fifth seed.”
Bronson said the team’s performance spoke volumes about its versatility and her players’ ability to step up when obstacles arose.
“It’s a testament to their hard work all year,” Broson said. “These kids have been working really hard. They’re all better than they were when they came in in the fall. They really peaked at the right time, and who knows what could’ve happened if Olga (Fischer) had been in the lineup too. But still these kids achieved being higher than what their seed was.”
The men’s team, seeded sixth in their bracket of nine teams, fell to third seed St. John’s in their first match 4-1. After Marquette was swept in the doubles point, freshman Cameron Tehrani secured the Golden Eagles’ lone point, defeating the Red Storm’s Kurt Anbarci 7-5, 6-4 in singles play.
Sophomore Logon Collins and senior Jonathan Schwerin’s matches were left unfinished. Collins and Schwerin were both in their third sets at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively.
Much like the women’s squad, the Marquette men were off to a dominating start in the consolation matchup with the seventh-seeded Hoyas. They had secured the doubles point and won the first set in four of their six singles matches, but the wind and rain forced early cancellation of the round.
Coach Steve Rodecap was disappointed with his team’s loss to the Red Storm and with the consolation round being cut short. He was happy with the Golden Eagle’s effort all the way through, but felt for his seniors and the way that their Marquette careers came to an end.
“Our guys played hard but I feel like we didn’t really play our best tennis and certainly didn’t play well enough to get out of that first round,” Rodecap said. “Our seniors are great kids and have represented our program very well and I hate to see them leave. It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get it done for them.”