Both Drexel’s men’s and women’s tennis squads defeated City 6 foe St. Joseph’s University April 1 and look to close out their seasons strong.
The men’s team (6-3, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) took down the Hawks dramatically, winning the match 4-3, while the women (7-6, 1-1) won theirs 4-2.
“Our matches against St. Joseph’s over the years have been hard fought and tight contests,” men’s and women’s head coach Tricia Udicious said.
After Casey Robinson of St. Joe’s defeated Gozde Unkaya in the first women’s singles match, Drexel took four of the next five matches to defeat the Hawks 4-2. Sonja Stosic defeated Devi Jadeja (6-1, 6-1), Emma Brook beat Tara Walsh (6-4, 6-3), Elise Leizerovich handled Kate Dowd (6-4, 6-0) and Alex Bell took care of Jane Procyk (6-0, 6-0) to give the Dragons their seventh win of the season.
“Stosic, Brook, Bell and Leizerovich brought their A games to defeat our cross town rival,” Udicious said. “I was particularly impressed by their toughness playing in less than ideal conditions.”
Then the men made their time against the Hawks much more interesting.
After dropping the first singles match, Manu Bapai defeated Jeff Kessler (6-2, 6-2) to pull even.
The Dragons then dropped the next singles match before Jeganathan Srinivasan beat Baruss (4-6, 6-3, 6-3) in a hard fought three-setter. Freshman Skyler Davis followed Srinivasan with a win of his own, defeating Kristian Broaddus (6-2, 6-2).
Drexel took two of three doubles matches with the pairing of Kurdadze/Bajpai defeating Cognetti/Kessler (9-8, 7-5) and Nguyen/Davis winning their match against Barrus/Veronis (9-7).
“The men’s match came down to the wire in a very close contest,” Udicious said. “The doubles combinations on Bajpai and Kurdadze and Nyugen and Davis came through with hard-fought victories to start the match, and Bajpai and Davis started us off with victories in singles.”
Udicious was particularly impressed with the strong outing from sophomore Srinivasan.
“He fought back from a set down to clinch the match for us,” Udicious said. “It was a great win for him and for our program.”
With their victory, the men improved to 6-3 on the season.
The men and women will both close out the regular season with critical matches versus CAA foes Delaware and George Mason.
“Delaware has two strong teams with impressive records,” Udicious said. “On the women’s side our game plan is to be more aggressive and take more balls out of the air to counter Delaware’s strong defensive game.”
Udicious is preaching patience for her men’s squad.
“We are looking to be more patient and take advantage of every opportunity we get, and a win in doubles is vital for both teams and will set the tone for singles play,” she said.
The Dragons will close out their season at home against George Mason.
“George Mason will be hungry for revenge after both teams defeated them in last year’s CAA tournament,” Udicious said. “We will definitely need to bring our ‘A’ games to celebrate senior day with a win.”
Udicious is certain these next two matches are crucial for the Dragons in terms of their CAA tournament seeding.
“Momentum is key going into the tournament,” Udicious said. “So we are looking to get these two and go into post-season play on a roll.”