Individual Performances Highlight Tennis Opener



This weekend at the Lion’s Kickoff Tournament, the men’s and women’s tennis team played TCNJ in Ewing, NJ.

Tony Schwab, Contributing Writer

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams kicked off their season this past Friday and Saturday at the Lion’s Kickoff Tournament on the road against The College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey. Although neither team could manage an overall winning record, both had some standout moments.

On Friday, the women competed in doubles, going 1-4. The first match saw sophomore Alice McGinty and freshman Rupa Ganesh fall narrowly, 9-8. After senior Laila El Dessouki  and freshman Judy Kam retired from their match early, McGinty and Ganesh competed again, but this time lost 8-2. After this came a bright spot for the Violets, as Sachi Belwal and Ayesha Das prevailed 8-6 against Anna Prestera and Danna Tsay. In the final women’s match of the day, this same pair was defeated 8-3.

On the men’s side, Friday saw NYU begin its singles campaign with a 5-3 record on the day. Playing for the first time as a Violet, freshman Michael Li defeated Thomas Wright 7-6(9), 6-2. Seniors Matt Demichiel and Umberto Setter and Jiri Honajzer all had relatively straight-forward victories, while junior Ian Combemale struggled.

On Saturday, the women took the court for singles and struggled. They went 1-8, with Alice McGinty capturing a win as TCNJ’s Sneha Rangu retired due to injury. At the very least, the Violets managed to keep things close in some matches. Sophomore Fleura Shiyanova took Brittney Reedman to three sets, ultimately falling 3-6, 6-3 and 10-6. Kam did the same in her match against Matty Stoner, winning the first set but going on to lose 2-6, 6-3 and 10-6.  Belwal had a good first set against Anna Prestera, narrowly losing in a tiebreak, but then retired due to injury.

The men struggled almost as much on Saturday, losing four of 12 singles matches. The bright spot was Setter, who won both of his matches in dominating fashion, beating TCNJ’s Wright 6-1, 6-1 and Matt Puig 6-2, 6-0. Matt DeMichiel got another win before Michael Li got the last. Ian Combermale lost both of his matches. The disappointing performance may have come from both rustiness as the team returns from summer and
fatigue at the end of a long weekend of play.

Following the tournament, DeMichiel was pleased with the team’s performance.

“The guys competed well this weekend,” DeMichiel said.  “It’s tough playing three matches per player with only a week of practice, but the guys were able to keep all of the matches close and interesting.”

Overall NYU was 9-23 for the weekend.

Next week, the men will take part in the Four in the fall tournament in the Bronx, while the women will travel to Poughkeepsie to compete in the Vassar College scramble.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 12 print edition. Email Tony Schwab at [email protected]