The women’s tennis team opened its 2013 campaign at the Quinnipiac Invitational this weekend.
The spotlights were set on senior captains Rocio Portela and Chloe Sher, who play both singles and doubles for the Pirates.
The tandem won their first match of the season 8-4 over Providence’s Hannah Zangari and Jennifer DeLuca.
“I think we played alright,” Sher said. “It was definitely not as I expected, but it’s the first tournament and there is a lot of room for improvement.”
Both girls agreed that they are looking forward to playing together as a doubles tandem.
“As a doubles team, I want us to have the best season we can because we’re seniors,” Portela said.
Head coach Greg Wyzykowski agreed that while he believes his team competed strongly, he was far from satisfied with the results.
“We need to do a lot better with our execution,” Wyzykowski said. “Our results were not at the level I know we are capable of.”
A bright spot for the Pirates in the tournament was sophomore Julia Keenan, who came within one set of taking home a singles tournament for the second straight year.
Keenan won last year’s singles title at the same tournament. She fell to Connecticut’s Emma Alderman in the final.
Keenan won the first set against Alderman 6-3, before falling in the second, 2-6. In the deciding third set, Alderman won the majority of the points and came away with a 3-6, 6-2, 10-3 victory.
Portela closed her weekend with a three-match winning streak in singles play. When asked about her individual play, however, she turned the focus to the team as a whole.
“I think as a team, we looked more united than previous years,” Portela said. “Even though we didn’t show our full capabilities, there is more support and chemistry for sure.”
Wyzykowski said he has high hopes for his team this season.
“We’re in much better shape than we have been in the past,” Wyzykowski said. “Our girls come in with new eyes, new energy and stronger talent.”
Wyzykowski added that he hopes the new spirit will help his team be more competitive than in recent years.
“I really hope this new outlook will allow us to be more competitive than in recent years we have had.
The Pirates get a week off before the West Point Invitational on Friday, Sept. 27.
David Heim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org