Bearcats stay hot with 9-0 blowout win over Brooklyn Bulldogs
With the addition of five new players to the 2015 roster, and the return of several key ones, the Bearcats have built up the right balance in their repertoire to avenge their disappointing finish to last season. After a huge win in their biggest challenge this fall over Purchase College, the Baruch women’s tennis team extended their undefeated record to four games with a win over CUNYAC conference rivals, Brooklyn College. The Bearcats cruised past the Bulldogs, winning all six singles matches and three doubles matches to complete their first 9-0 sweep of the season. Their ability to dominate on the court has been exciting to watch, as the team does not look to be stopping their high-flying momentum anytime soon.
The Bearcats’ fast start to the season began with two back-to-back 8-1 victories against Lehman College and Pratt Institute, as well as a 6-3 win over SUNY Purchase College. Team captain Allie Jackson-Hing, opened her third season as a Bearcat with a convincing 6-0 score in each of her first, two singles sets to give Baruch an early advantage. In doubles play, Jackson-Hing teamed-up with first-year player Daria Vasekina and won 8-0 for a perfect finish to end the evening.
Hayley Bester had a great start as well, taking the first set 6-4; however, she needed a tiebreaker after giving up the second set 3-6. Bester ultimately took the singles match after a hard-fought battle in the third, which ended 10-7. In doubles, Bester was also joined by a first-year player, Isabel Arias, to win 8-1. Last season, Jackson-Hing and Bester played alongside each other as one of the most dominant duos in the conference. As a freshman, Bester earned a spot next to the captain after demonstrating an acumen for solid doubles play. Head coach Florin Guiglescu tends to pair experienced players with neophytes, and so far, his tactic has proven to be successful, as the Bearcats have not lost a doubles match yet this season.
In their game against the Cannoneers of Pratt Institute, the Bearcats continued right where they left off and secured another solid win. Last year, the team faced a brutal beating by the Cannoneers who took the game 8-1. However, this time, Baruch flipped the script on the Brooklyn team and won all but just one singles competition in the match.
The Bearcats looked like a different team when they set out to the courts that evening. Bester, Arias, Jessica Zukhovich and Diana Fedorkova each closed out their singles competition in two sets and held their opponents down to less than three scores in each set. Vasekina finished the night with a tight singles win, 6-2, 6-4, and shared a doubles victory with Jackson-Hing 8-3.
Having less than a full day’s rest before their next game, the Bearcats traveled to York College to face the Panthers of Purchase College. The worn out and shorthanded Bearcats ended up splitting the singles competition 3-3 but sealed the deal in doubles play by taking all three matches. The poor weather conditions also prevented either side from showcasing their best performance that afternoon.
On the following Tuesday, Baruch returned to Brooklyn for their second conference game of the season. After sitting out against the Panthers, Jackson-Hing came back to the court with a singles victory, 6-1, 1-6, 10-6, and a doubles win, 8-5, with Vasekina. It was a rough evening for the captain as she struggled to finish in the later sets. Dzhessika Bisenkevich and Brooke Severance teamed up at third doubles to win 8-2. Bisenkevich and Severance have proven to be a great combination, as the two are now 4-0 on the season at third doubles.
With wins over Lehman College, Pratt Institute, Purchase College, and recently, Brooklyn College, Baruch stands at the top of the conference standings with a slight edge over the College of Staten Island. The Dolphins have also started their season on a 4-0 run; however, they trail the Bearcats one game in CUNYAC play, as the team has yet to face their second conference opponent.
The Hunter College Hawks, the team that eliminated the Bearcats in the CUNYAC tournament last season, has struggled to find their identity this season as the team fell to 0-3 following their loss to Farmingdale State College. Baruch will have their chance at redemption on Oct. 12, in what is expected to be a highly anticipated match against Hunter College. But for now, the team will head to Flushing, New York, on Sep. 25, to face the Bloodhounds of John Jay College. The Bearcats will have a well-deserved rest after playing four games in a 10-day stretch. If they can manage to stay consistent through the rest of the season, Baruch will be a nightmare to any opposing team, no matter who is standing on the other side of the net.