Over the weekend, the Binghamton women’s tennis team played Ivy League opponents Brown and Dartmouth, as well as UMass Amherst, losing all three matches to extend their winless season to four games.
On Friday, Binghamton (0-4) could not get an edge over Dartmouth (2-1), as the Bearcats’ singles and doubles did not pick up a single set in the matches played. However, Binghamton senior Samara Eisenberg and junior Ashley Granieri performed impressively in their doubles match, putting up three games in the set against Dartmouth’s top doubles pair, junior Abigail Chiu and freshman Chidimma Okpara. In singles, freshman Jamie Lau won a few games in her match against Chiu before losing 6-3.
On Saturday, the Bearcats competed stronger against Brown (1-2), particularly Eisenberg, who forced Brown senior Devon Jack to three sets before losing 4-6, 6-1, 10-5. Sophomore Regina Furer also came out strong facing Brown junior Courtney Kowalsky, but fell in straight sets 7-5, 6-3. Binghamton head coach Libby McGovern, despite the loss, seemed thoroughly impressed with Furer’s performance.
“[Furer] really competed at a high level in each and every match,” McGovern said. “She played really tight, competitive matches with all of her opponents.”
McGovern was also pleased by the way Eisenberg played.
“I’m always impressed with how [Eisenberg] competes,” McGovern said. “She makes her opponents earn all the points they’re winning. That’s important at the beginning stages of our competition season — to force your opponent to work hard and stay in points a long time to find a rhythm and strategy.”
On Sunday, Binghamton took on UMass Amherst (2-1), but the Bearcats were still unable to put a win on the board. Eisenberg fought a close match against Massachusetts junior Anna Napadiy, but Napadiy would go on to win. Furer forced the first set in her match against Massachusetts senior Martina Bocchi to a tiebreaker but would lose the match 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
The most notable performance from Binghamton on Sunday came from Lau, who won the first set in her match 7-5 against Massachusetts senior Ashley Avery. The match seemed like a chance for Binghamton to get their first victory of the season, but that chance soon slipped away, as Lau was bested by Avery in the remaining two sets 6-1, 6-1.
There were sparks of highly competitive play from Binghamton over the weekend, but no answers were found against Dartmouth, Brown or Massachusetts. However, the Bearcats have only played four matches, giving them more than two months to continue to improve their effectiveness on the court. McGovern seemed to reflect on the team’s performance and things to improve upon as the season moves forward.
“We got better as the weekend progressed, which is what we’re hoping for throughout the season, [to] keep building on our matches, from day to day and then from weekend to weekend,” McGovern said. “We definitely need to continue to problem-solve more during our matches and utilize different strategies and shot selections to become more comfortable as the season progresses. But overall, from where we started on Friday and where we finished on Sunday was much more promising.”
The Bearcats travel to West Point, New York this weekend to take on a string of opponents, including Army, Seton Hall and Sacred Heart. The first match begins at 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 against the Black Knights.