Tennis Bounces Back at Vassar



NYU tennis competed this past weekend at both Fordham University and Vassar College.

Tony Schwab, Contributing Writer

Coming off a rough first weekend, the men’s and women’s tennis teams both had strong performances, with the men taking part in the Four in the Fall Tournament hosted by Fordham in the Bronx and the women competing in the Vassar College Scramble.

On Saturday, the men went 16-5 overall, winning nine of 10 matches against St. Francis College and seven of 11 against Fordham. Matt DeMichiel, who was one of the few bright spots for the Violets last week, won both of his singles matches and split his two doubles matches. Fellow senior Umberto Setter won both of his matches, as did juniors Samuel Khoshbin and Jiri Honajzer. Boding well for NYU’s future, French freshman Xavier Pacthod won all four of his matches and Vishal Walia won both of his.

On the women’s side, things were even better. The team went 9-3 in singles and 1-1 in doubles in matches against both Vassar College and Connecticut College. As is often the case, junior Laila El Dessouki carried the team, winning both her singles matches before winning a doubles match Against Connecticut College with partner Judy Kam. Three freshmen, Kam, Nikki Ong and Rupa Ganesh, also had victories.

The women had a short slate of matches Sunday, as singles were cancelled due to rain. They took on players from Conn. College, Vassar and SUNY New Paltz. Sophomore Alice McGinty, Ganesh, El Dessouki and sophomore Flora Shiyanova each went 3-0 in doubles. Ong won both of her matches. El Dessouki was especially dominant, partnering with Shiyanova for an 8-1 drubbing of New Paltz and with Kam for an 8-3 victory over Vassar. Sophomore Ayesha Das and Ong had the closest victory of the day for the Violets, prevailing 8-6 against a resilient Vassar pair.

At the end of the weekend, Shiyanova spoke about the team’s recovery from a tough start to the season.

“Second matches are always much better,” Shiyanova said. “We had more time for team bonding and got used to outdoor courts. We were also better cheering for each other and that helped us to keep a positive attitude. Also, our attitude was different, we really wanted to bring victories to NYU.”

The men were just as successful Sunday, finishing the weekend with an overall record of 31-9. Matt Demichiel had a busy weekend, going 4-0 in singles and 2-2 in doubles.

After his matches, DeMichiel commented on how their practice helped shape their success.

“I think the fact that we had an extra week of practice helped a lot,” DeMichiel said. “The TCNJ match was helpful because it got us all into a competitive mindset and reminded us of the mentality you have to have in a match, and everyone was able to carry that over to this week.”

Next weekend the men will travel to the Stevens Institute of Technology Invitational in Hoboken, New Jersey while the women will be in Geneva, New York for ITA Northeast Regional Championships.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 19 print edition. Email Tony Schwab at [email protected]