Marquette Wire

Tennis teams go 3-1 in BIG EAST openers

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(Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@mu.edu)

(Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@mu.edu)

(Photo by Ben Erickson/benjamin.a.erickson@mu.edu)

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Both of Marquette’s tennis teams welcomed Creighton and Xavier to the Helfaer Tennis Stadium this weekend to kick off Big East play. The men started the weekend off with a 6-1 victory over Creighton and concluded the weekend on Sunday with 6-1 win. The women had similar success on Friday with a 6-1 win over Creighton, but faltered against Xavier on Sunday losing 6-1.

Because of an injury to Kristiyan Trukov men’s head coach Steve Rodecap was forced to change his double lineup. At first doubles Daniel Fernandez was paired with Nick Dykema, at second doubles freshman Greg Anderson and Alvaro Verdu were matched up and at third doubles Andre Romanello and Mackenzie Stearns were partners. The new pairings gave no problems as Marquette was able to secure easy wins at first and second doubles.

The success from doubles carried over to singles, where Mackenzie Stearns, Daniel Fernandez and Andre Romanello won in straight sets to secure the victory for Marquette.

“I liked our energy in doubles we jumped on them really quickly,” men’s head coach Steve Rodecap said. “It wasn’t little bursts of energy. It was consistent energy that went to the end of the match.”

On Sunday Marquette was once again able to clinch a hard-earned doubles point with a 7-5 win from Fernandez and Dykema and a 6-4 win from Romanello and Stearns.

“I feel like we got off to a really sluggish start,” Rodecap said. “Xavier came out in doubles and threw the first punch at us and instead of backing down we raised the level, which is what we need to do. I was proud of the effort in doubles.”

The Golden Eagles benefited from a straight singles victories from Greg Anderson and Romanello. Marquette was able to secure the victory with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win from Alvaro Verdu at the no. 2 singles position. Nick Dykema and Daniel Fernandez each had impressive three-set victories as well.

With the injury to Trukov, Romanello has been put into the starting lineup and he responded with two convincing victories.

“It is always tough with those guys going in and out (of the lineup). (Romanello) is a good player and we are only as good as the last guy our team,” said Rodecap. “He has done a nice job settling in there and we expect that to big a lift for his confidence.”

The women’s team opened the weekend by sweeping the doubles point from Creighton with Erin Gebes and Silvia Ambrosio securing their ninth win of the season with a 6-2 victory.

In singles Paula Tormos Sanchez earned a 6-0, 6-2 win, a 6-2, 6-4 win from Diana Tokar, and finally a 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory from Leoni Daems to secure the match for the Golden Eagles.

On Sunday Marquette celebrated Senior Day with tributes to the team’s two seniors Erin Gebes and Aleeza Kanner, but as a whole the squad was unable to bring home the victory falling 6-1 to Xavier.

The match started off well with two impressive doubles performances. First no. 3 doubles pair Kanner and Daems blanked their opponent 6-0, while Tokar and Tormos Sanchez secured the point with a 7-5 win.

Singles would be a different story for Marquette, as the Golden Eagles struggled to start off well, dropping four of the six first sets. Despite three matches going to third sets Marquette didn’t have enough gas in the tank to pull out the victory.

“We didn’t play our best on Friday, but we managed to pull it out,” women’s head coach Jody Bronson said. “Sunday after winning the doubles point the energy was really good. One thing we try to get everyone to understand is that when they have any opportunity to finish they have to finish they can’t settle for getting a ball back. I think that was the difference in not being able to win (Sunday’s) match.”

The women’s team will travel to New York City to take on St. John’s on Friday and Seton Hall on Saturday. The men have the weekend off before welcoming Butler to Helfaer Tennis Stadium next Saturday.

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