By Spencer Tracy, Staff Writer
Xavier Tennis hosted Northern Kentucky on Friday at the Eastern Hills Indoor Tennis Club in hopes to avoid a losing streak to start the young season.
The Men’s team introduced the Vikings to their aces as sophomore Ryan Cahill took the court alongside freshman Deacon Thomas. Cahill and Thomas were busy early, dominating the first doubles match 6-2, giving the Musketeers a wave of momentum. However, the Vikings came roaring back winning back-to-back, nail-biting, tiebreakers inflicting a major blow to the Musketeers’ early success.
Cahill and Thomas could not have responded better showcasing their dominance with Cahill winning his singles match in 3 sets and Thomas sweeping his set, swinging the momentum back Xavier’s way. The tiebreaker did not get the best of freshman Kyle Totorica as he rallied past his opponent in the tiebreaker set, avoiding a sweep and winning the final set 10-7, completing the comeback.
Junior Jorge Santamaria and sophomore Marco Panelli each brought it home in the final matches of the day, sweeping their opponents for a combined 21-8 score. Northern Kentucky gave Xavier a fight, however, Cahill and Thomas’ dominance matched up with Santamaria and Panelli to wrap up a 6-1 victory.
The Women’s team had their hands full this weekend hosting Northern Kentucky Friday night and just 48 hours later had a date on the road against Notre Dame. After their frustrating defeat last week to Penn State the Women’s team was playing with a chip on their shoulder with hopes of dominating the Vikings, proving their Big East Championship was not a fluke. They did not disappoint.
The Muskies swept the Vikings in their doubles matches with the standout dominant duo of junior Imani Graham and redshirt junior Anna Roggenburk, who crushed their opponents 6-1.
The Musketeers kept their foot on the gas in singles matches, sweeping five of their six and only allowing one to go to three sets but still prevailing. Graham was by far the player of the match, displaying textbook defense and dominating offensively in her doubles match and outscoring her opponent in her singles match 12-1.
However, freshman Paulina Franco Martinessi played in the match of the day, sweeping her opponent, but both wins came in heart racing tiebreaker fashion. It was a successful Friday night defeating the Northern Kentucky Vikings 7-0.
With little time to reminisce over their soul crushing win Friday night, the Muskies were looking to carry their momentum to the Fighting Irish. However, their momentum did not travel well in two doubles matches despite a strong effort from Graham and Roggenburk losing their tiebreaker sets.
The singles matches were all Notre Dame, taking six of six.. However, the freshman five-star recruit, Abby Nugent’s strong efforts did not go unnoticed, losing a close first set 7-5 then responding with a quick 6-1 second set victory before losing her final set and the match.
A frustrating way for the Women’s team to end their weekend despite the hot start. The Women’s team looks for their first road win of the year as they travel up to Dayton for a Friday night match, while the Men’s team heads up to take on Cleveland State Saturday afternoon.