TEN : Jensen only ‘pleased’ with blowout win
Two convincing victories for the Syracuse tennis team over Big East opponents in its opening weekend weren’t enough for second-year head coach Luke Jensen.
‘I’m pleased, but I’m not satisfied,’ Jensen said after the Orange swept Georgetown for a 7-0 win yesterday afternoon at Drumlins Tennis Center.
The team also defeated Cincinnati in a 6-1 victory in its season opener on Friday to improve to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big East conference after the consecutive wins.
But even after the dominating weekend, Jensen says there are still parts the young Syracuse team needs to work on to adjust to the collegiate level.
‘I think for the second match in a row, we got off to a slow start,’ Jensen said.
The opening games of all three of Syracuse’s doubles pairs went in the favor of the Hoyas.
At third doubles, playing with rookie Jacquelynn Tang, sophomore Ashley Spicer committed two double faults early into the match, but delivered a decisive ace at 4-5 to rally an 8-6 victory. Spicer also earned her first collegiate win in an Orange uniform after transferring from Washington State her freshman year.
Facing the nationally ranked players on Georgetown’s lineup was pressure that the young Syracuse team is still not acquainted to, freshman Simone Kalhorn said. The team has four freshman and two sophomores in its lineup of seven total players.
The Orange was ready for a dogfight, Jensen said, and came back to collect the remaining points for the match to sweep Georgetown.
Kalhorn and freshman captain Christina Tan could not come back from an early 5-2 deficit to lose 8-3, but went a different direction against their singles competitors.
No. 1 singles player Tan defeated Georgetown junior Courtney Olsen, the team’s MVP from last season, in a 6-1, 6-0 victory in which she held Olsen to the backcourt and commanded nearly every play.
Although Kalhorn came out running with a 6-0 win over the first set, the second singles match ended in Kalhorn’s favor after a close 6-4 win, posting a singles win against Maxi Thiels.
‘The biggest thing is that it shows the character of those two players to lose at No. 1 doubles and not spill over to the singles,’ Jensen said. ‘They played freer and with much more confidence.’
Junior Maria Vasilyeva garnered a 6-4, 6-1 win against senior Stephanie Cohen at No. 3 singles, while freshman Tang and sophomore Chelsea Jones continued the momentum with identical scores of 7-5, 6-3, at the fifth and sixth positions respectively.
Jensen expects the team to inform the coaching staff on what personal and team improvements should be made, and will practice accordingly next week before the Orange’s first away matches.
Said Jensen: ‘The No. 1 thing is to stay on the path that we have been since Sept. 1, which is our physical fitness has got to be better than anyone else in the country.’
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