After capping off an undefeated season with the program’s fifth CUNYAC championship title last October, the Baruch College women’s tennis team returned to action on Tuesday, April 12 against Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. Despite the six-month hiatus, the team did not show any rust, resuming their quest to the NCAA tournament with a convincing 7-2 victory.
The Bearcats stayed on the road for their next match against a tougher opponent in Farmingdale State College. The visiting Bearcats opened the match by losing two of the three doubles matches, including one by default. In singles play, the Rams won four of the six singles matches en route to their 6-3 victory, ending Baruch’s 14-game winning streak in the process; Baruch’s last lost dates back to Oct. 26, 2014, when the team played Hunter College in the semifinals of the CUNYAC tournament.
While the first loss of this season was certainly a stinger, it also gave the Bearcats a glimpse of the kind of competition they will have to prepare for in order to be ready for the NCAA tournament later this May.
In their contest against MSMC, the Bearcats trampled the home team with total dominance. In first doubles, Captain Allie Jackson-Hing and Isabel Arias dispatched the Knights, 8-1, to take the early lead. Despite it being the first time the two played together as a pair, the tandem breezed through the competition to pull off the easy victory. Hayley Bester and Diana Fedorkova followed shortly thereafter, winning with an equally impressive score of 8-1. Dzhessika Bishenkevich and Brooke Severance finished off the doubles sweep with an 8-4 win. The Knights showed little improvement in singles play, barely escaping a shutout after notching two victories. Severance was the only Baruch player to force a third set in singles after going 4-6, 6-4, against Mallory Menneci in the first two. After a heated back-and-forth exchange to begin the final set, the faceoff came down to the wire with Severance taking the first match point opportunity. Menneci did her best to stay in striking distance, however, it was Severance who ultimately prevailed in the tiebreaker with a score of 13-11.
Baruch’s matchup against Farmingdale was undoubtedly its toughest of the season. Having only five players suit up for the game, Baruch was forced to forfeit one singles and one doubles match. Jackson-Hing teamed up with Arias in first doubles to get things rolling and took down the Rams 8-4 to record the lone win in doubles play. Later in the evening, the two also won their respective singles matches with Jackson-Hing scoring 8-6 followed by Arias at 8-3.
The Bearcats will make their first appearance in the NCAA tournament on Friday, May 13. With plenty of depth behind them, the young squad looks poised for theirfirst crack at the national level.