The NYU men’s and women’s tennis teams finished off the University Athletic Association Championship in Altamonte Springs, Florida on Sunday by defeating the University of Rochester. The wins from both teams came after a tough weekend and season in general.
From the start, the men’s season had been plagued with a string of two- or three-game losing streaks, only getting a win to break the streak every now and then. Although the Violets finished the season with a 4-9 record, they consistently played very well at home, earning a 3-1 record. Their achilles’ heel was their record during games on the road, where they lost all six of their contests.
After losing five games straight, the Violets ended the season with a victory against Rochester, beating them 6-3. The Violets had lost 4-5 to Rochester earlier in the season but were able to turn the tables with strong doubles play this time around.
After losing in the first doubles matchup, the Violets were able to get wins in the second and third doubles games to take the lead going into singles play. The Violets won four out of the six singles matches, led by junior Sidd Thangirala at number one singles, senior CJ Leong at second singles and sophomore Matt DeMichiel at fifth singles.
This was also the last collegiate competition for seniors CJ Leong and Billy Smithline, who were able to secure two singles victories and leave NYU on a high note.
The women’s team fared better than the men’s this season, but still finished below .500. Like the men’s team, the women snapped a five game losing streak against Rochester and ended their season with a 3-3 road record.
The Violets began their season on a high note, winning four of their first five matches. They looked to be moving up in the rankings, and the addition of junior transfer Carmen Lai at the beginning of the season boosted an already strong team. However, the Violets struggled for the rest of the season, losing five games straight before ending their season yesterday with a win.
NYU was boosted as usual by the first doubles team of Lai and sophomore Laila El Dessouki, who won their match 8-5. Although Rochester ended up winning two of the three matches, the Violets dominated singles play and won four out of the six matches. After her doubles win, El Dessouki went on to clinch the Violets victory with a win at number three singles 6-2, 5-7 and 6-2.
“I am very proud of my team,” Lai said. “Everyone played with great courage and determination. Although we were down 2-4 against Rochester, we showed an incredible amount of toughness that we defeated them 5-4 to win the match. It was incredible. The overall season went pretty well this year. Everyone’s contribution was very important. I hope next year we will continue to train hard and achieve better results.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 27 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]