In the run up before the Colonial Athletic Associationchampionships, the Drexel University tennis teams finished up their split against Hofstra University April 5. The women’s team won its 14th match of the season, while the men’s team fell to the Pride.
The women’s team continued its torrid season with a convincing 6-1 win over Hofstra University.
Things got off to an encouraging start when the team swept all three doubles matches to give them the 1-0 lead. Lea Winkler and Kendra Bunch dominated in their 8-1 win.
Singles matches were no different, as Nicole Pivonka won her match in straight sets. After splitting the next two matches, the Dragons finished off on a high note, winning the final three singles matches.
Highlighted in the three successive wins was Bunch’s solid 6-1, 6-1 straight-set victory. With the win over Hofstra, the women’s team improved its record to an incredible 14-1 and is riding a five-game winning streak. The 14 wins tied a program record for most wins in a single season, with two matches to go in the final week of the regular season.
“This week is very important for us,” head coach Mehdi Rhazali said. “The women’s team is 14-1, and we defeated Hofstra and have an unfinished match against James Madison University where we were in a 3-3 tie and up 4-2 in No. 5 singles.
“Now, we have two more conference matches that we have to focus on and work very hard on the mental part of our game and strategy this week, then good things will happen.
“The conference is getting tougher, and for us, we need to be smart and play well in the next two matches in order to have a good draw at the CAA Championships.”
The men’s doubles competition saw the men’s team lose the first point of the match, as Kashyap Ashok and Dan Koehler lost narrowly in the second game, 8-7. They did manage to salvage the last game when doubles partners Daniel Hansen and Badr Ouabdelmoumen shut out their doubles opponent, 8-0.
The singles matches continued to feature Drexel at the short end.
Ouabdelmoumen was dropped in three sets in the first match, and the Dragons would be downed in the next three matches, all in straight sets, which was highlighted by Alex Fioravante’s valiant effort in his 6-4, 7-6 defeat.
The team managed to pick up the final two points when Hamza Laalej and Dan Koehler won their matches in straight sets. The loss dropped the team to 11-9 and continued to highlight the road struggles the team is facing.
“[The men’s team] had a rough start against Hofstra, and that affected us,” Rhazali said. “The men just didn’t have a good day, and you can’t say that in tennis. We can’t afford to make history one day and then lose to a team we’ve historically played very well against.
“We weren’t the only team that had to play through windy conditions. Hofstra faced the same conditions. We had slow starts and let some opportunities go by, and it affected us.”
The men’s team finishes up its regular season against the University of Delaware on Sunday April 12 before they head out to the CAA championships. Meanwhile, the women’s team will play a back to back against Towson University on April 11, and then against Delaware April 12 alongside the men’s team.