The Stevenson University men’s and women’s tennis team have had their ups and downs in their fall season.
The men’s team opened the fall season with an 8-1 victory over The Catholic University of America. This is the team’s first-ever regular-season victory over the Cardinals in 16 years.
The Mustangs started the match with a 3-0 lead in doubles.
Senior Wornden Ly and junior Ray McDermott played at number one doubles to beat the Cardinals 8-5. Senior Douglas Vaughan and junior Andre Sturniolo won at number two doubles with a score of 8-6. Seniors Drew Ryan and Alex Kiblin took their number three doubles match 8-4.
In singles play, according to gomustangsports.com, McDermott won at No. 1 in three sets and Sturniolo beat his No. 2 opponent in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
Vaughan won his match at No. 5 singles to clinch the match win at 5-0. Ryan and sophomore Richie Abruscasto won their matches to final up the score, 8-1.
The win is a testament to hard work and the leadership shared throughout the team.
Men’s and women’s tennis head coach Evan Clifton recalled some of the leaders on the team are “mostly all the seniors — Peter Appiah Jr., Alex Kiblin, Wornden Ly, Douglas Vaughan, and Drew Ryan.”
“Their leadership shows how the seniors want to give back,” said Clifton. “They want to be to our freshmen like the seniors were to them when they were freshmen.”
The leadership of the team not only helped the freshmen but, also improved the team’s overall mental toughness. According to Clifton and assistant coach Arthur Jackson, the way the team is fighting through adversity is different this year.
“It just goes to show the culture that the staff and I have established here,” said Clifton.
The men’s team’s next match is set for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, ITA, Southeast Regional tournament at University of Mary Washington Sept. 27-30, where the Mustangs hope to come out on top.
The women’s team started off the season with a 7-2 loss to Stockton University on Sept. 15.
Even with the tough loss to start the season, Clifton said the team “improved their doubles play” in their fall season opener.
The No. 1 singles player, junior Jenna Skove began the season winning in straight sets against Stockton.
The No. 2 doubles team, senior Kirstyn Davidson and Megan Waskiewicz, won their match 8-4.
The women’s team also competed in the ITA Southeast Regional tournament at the University of Mary Washington Sept. 21-23.
Junior Kelsi Mentzer was the No. 3 seed and reached the semifinals for the D-draw singles bracket.
Skove reached to the quarterfinals of her draw before losing in a close match to Salisbury University’s Jordan Schaefer.
Both teams will play at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Oct. 7. The women’s team will then wrap up the fall season with the Middle Atlantic Conference Individual Championships on Oct. 19-21 at King’s College.