Marquette Wire

Tennis teams have disappointing BIG EAST Tournament

Men falter in finals for second straight year

Photo+by+Mike+Carpenter%2Fmichael.carpenter%40marquette.edu
Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@marquette.edu

Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@marquette.edu

Photo by Mike Carpenter/michael.carpenter@marquette.edu

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The Marquette men’s and women’s tennis teams concluded their season this past weekend at the Big East Tournament in Cayce, South Carolina. After defeating Creighton 4-0 and DePaul 4-0, the men reached the Big East Championship where they fell to St. John’s 4-0 for the second straight year. The women’s team received a first round bye but fell in its first game to No. 4 seed Georgetown 4-1.

Last year, the men’s team aimed to win the Big East Championship, but felt that just making it to the finals was an accomplishment. This year the glitz of a championship match had worn off and winning was the only mission. St. John’s jumped on Marquette early by winning the doubles point. The Golden Eagles tried to push back in their singles matches, but St. John’s was able to win at No. 2 singles in a tiebreak to secure the championship.

“There are a lot of positives with this team. There was a point this year while we were struggling with injuries, but our guys never gave up,” men’s head coach Steve Rodecap said. “I really felt we were playing our best tennis going into that match on Sunday, which is what you want. There is a lot to be proud of with this group. We just came up a match short. When you put all that focus on one tournament at the end of year it is tough when you don’t get what you want.”

Throughout the tournament the Golden Eagles relied on the experience and excellent play of senior Daniel Fernandez. During the tournament Fernandez picked up two singles victories at the No. 1 singles position and two victories at the No. 1 doubles position.

“The two seniors wanted something a lot different, but those guys have poured their heart and soul into the program,” Rodecap said. “When you see the end of your career it is never easy, but as I told Fernandez and Gleb when we win one of these things it is going to be because of what they did to put us in that position. I am really thankful for what they did for our program.”

The women’s team entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed, which gave them a first round bye. Against Georgetown, the Golden Eagles started the match with a 7-5 win from No. 1 doubles team Erin Gebes and Silvia Ambrosio, and a 7-5 victory from the No. 3 doubles team Aleeza Kanner and Leoni Daems.

Georgetown didn’t panic, however, and came out strong in singles winning matches at the Nos. 3, 4 and 6 positions before finally sealing the match with a win at No. 2 singles.

“We played really well in doubles,” said women’s head coach Jody Bronson. “That (singles) performance was really disappointing. That was not the potential of our team.”

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