Both tennis teams open spring season with blowout victories

Women's team didn't drop single set in clean sweep of UWM, IUPUI

Silvia Ambrosio won all four of her matches on Saturday. Photo by Ben Erickson/

Both Marquette tennis teams welcomed IUPUI to Milwaukee this weekend and by Saturday sent the Jaguars home with two losses. The women’s team also took care of rival UW-Milwaukee.

The men’s teams opened spring competition Friday at the Helfaer Tennis Stadium, with Marquette grabbing a 5-2 victory.

“Our guys competed hard,” men’s head coach Steve Rodecap said. “In doubles I felt like we were a little nervous in the beginning with this being the first match. We have a lot of work it’s the first match, there are things in everyone’s game that have to continue to get better.”

The Golden Eagles jumped out to a lead after winning all three doubles matches to secure the doubles point. The first doubles pair of Daniel Fernandez and Alvaro Verdu and third doubles pair of Mackenzie Stearns and Andrew Romanello struggled early in their sets before securing wins, while second doubles duo Nick Dykema and Kristiyan Trukov were able to cruise to victory.

In singles play, Marquette was able to jump out to a comfortable lead after winning five of their six first sets. Fernandez, Verdu, Trukov, Dykema and Patrick McAuley each won their singles matches.

“First sets are really important,” Rodecap said. “We got five of the first six sets which takes pressure off guys.”

On Saturday the women’s team attempted to match its male counterparts in the win column. The Golden Eagles swept UW-Milwaukee with a 7-0 victory and continued their success in the late afternoon with another 7-0 victory over IUPUI. The Golden Eagles didn’t drop a single set all day in singles nor doubles.

“It feels great, but it wasn’t easy,” women’s head coach Jody Bronson said. “We were down in some matches and had to fight back. For the first day of competition it was good.”

The No. 1 doubles pair of Erin Gebes and Silvia Ambrosio continued their early season dominance, sweeping both of their matches. Paula Tormos Sanchez had an impressive day at the No. 4 singles position, beating UWM 6-0, 6-3 and beating IUPUI 6-0, 6-0.

At the third doubles position against IUPUI, Aleeza Kanner and Tormos Sanchez were down 4-1, but battled back to help sweep IUPUI in doubles.

During the singles matches, the fatigue of playing two matches in one day set in during second sets. Several players started dropping games early in their sets before rallying back to win the matches.

“They are tired. Mentally you have to be able to stay focused,” said Bronson. “(IUPUI) fought… they did not throw in the towel. I think they felt like they could win and they played like it.”

In addition to fatigue, playing in two matches required Marquette to take extra precautions with injuries. Freshman Leoni Daems didn’t play doubles because of an ongoing leg issue and fellow freshman Ambrosio was monitored closely due to continuing shoulder problem.

Both of the men and women are back in action at Helfaer on Friday. The women will welcome UIC at noon, while the men take on South Dakota State at 2:00.