After two tough losses to end the regular the season, the men’s and women’s tennis teams now look ahead to the Colonial Athletic Association Championships.The men and women both entered the CAA Tournament, which began April 21 in Norfolk, Va., as number nine seeds. The men faced George Mason University and the women took on Towson University.
The last time they took to the courts, the Dragon men fell to Delaware 4-3 in less than perfect conditions. Nikoloz Kurdadze and Manu Bajpai got Drexel started off right, each winning their singles matches. However, after three straight wins for the Blue Hens of Delaware, the Dragons could not bounce back.
Freshman Skyler Davis recorded his tenth win of the season against Delaware’s Ryan Kent in the final singles match. The Dragons were no match for the Hens in doubles, where Delaware went 3-for-3.
The loss dropped the Dragons to 6-5 for the season and Delaware finished with a record of 9-6.
The Drexel women were also defeated by Delaware 4-3 to end their regular season.
The Dragons had singles wins from Sonja Stosic, Zeynep Mafa and Elise Leizerovich, along with a doubles win from the pairing of Stosic/Mafa. Unfortunately, it was not enough to fight off the very tough Delaware women.
The Lady Blue Hens took three singles matches and 2-of-3 doubles matches to take the final match of the year. Drexel’s women finished the season with a record of 8-7, and the women of Delaware improved to 11-4 on the year.
“Both teams fought extremely hard in less than ideal conditions,” head coach Tricia Udicious said. “We had our chances, especially in doubles, but overall it was a great match for both teams.”
Drexel cannot dwell on the final losses and must focus on their tasks at hand.
“Both teams will have rematches from losses earlier in the season,” Udicious said. “We have worked on specific strategies for each singles match and worked on being more aggressive with our doubles play.”
Both the men fell to George Mason 4-3 in the regular season and the women fell to Towson 4-3, so Udicious expects these matches to be close as well.
“We hope to turn the tide on Thursday,” she said.
Over the past several seasons, the CAA has really come into their own as a powerhouse tennis conference, and Udicious expects these Championships to showcase the best the conference has to offer.
“The CAA has six teams currently ranked nationally and has always been a very strong tennis conference,” Udicious said. “I expect the tournament to be highly competitive with some high-level tennis being played in every match.”
In order to be competitors in this conference, the men and women will need to be on top of their game come tournament time. Preparations are being made.
“Both teams need to play intelligently and with a lot of passion to defeat their opponents,” Udicious said. “I look for both teams to get the revenge they are seeking this week against George Mason and Towson in the tournament.”
The Dragons hope to claim their revenge and then some during this year’s championship tournament.