The men’s and women’s tennis teams both closed out the regular season schedule last weekend with 7-0 wins over La Salle University. The win meant the men’s team finished off the season with a 5-10 record overall, while the women completed the season with a 5-13 overall record.
This match was senior day for three of the players. Eduardo Irizarry and Carlos de La Cruz on the men’s team and Mariam Skhirtladze on the women’s team all played their final matches at the SBU Fitness Center.
Junior Lauren Doversola said the match was not only rewarding because the team won on senior day, it also gave them momentum going into the A10 Championships this weekend.
“It was nice to be able to contribute to our 7-0 team victory for our senior, and my doubles partner, Mariam,” said Doversola. “The win was definitely the type of confidence we wanted before going into the A10.”
Freshman Miki Nobuzawa said the team knew La Salle was a weaker team entering the match, but that its approach did not differ from any other match.
“It feels great to clinch a convincing win before the tournament,” said Nobuzawa. “But we knew as a team that we couldn’t give them any breathing space, so we managed to seal the tie with a solid win throughout the line up.”
The women’s team cruised in both singles and doubles play. Skhirtladze headlined the singles matches without dropping any games to her opponent. Freshman Gabriella Bowe and sophomore Dominique Mortier also played well for the Bonnies.
St. Bonaventure dominated the two doubles matches, dropping only two games to La Salle. Skhirtladze, who did not drop a game the entire day, and her partner, junior Lauren Doversola, won their match 6-0.
With the regular season over, the two teams now must prepare for the A10 Championship. The men were given a ten seed and are matched up against Duquesne on Thursday.
Nobuzawa said the team is well prepared for the upcoming tournament and is not afraid of being a low seeded team.
“I think we are all prepared heading into the tournament,” said Nobuzawa. “We have been working on things individually over the last few weeks. In practices, we are tweaking minor issues on strokes and some of our shots. Now, it’s time to travel, warm up and play.”
When asked about the expectations the team has for the tournament, Nobuzawa said the team could surprise people and make a run.
“Heading in to the tournament, I feel like any team can pull an upset,” said Nobuzawa. “This season, we have been losing matches very close, and I feel as though with the added pressure on the higher-seeded opponent, we will have a better chance of giving our all and progressing in the tournament.”
The women’s tournament takes place next weekend, beginning on Thursday, April 21. The seeds have yet to be announced, but the Bonnies should expect a lower seed, holding a 5-13 record and a 1-3 record in conference.
Doversola said before the Bonnies leaves for the conference championship, they need to make sure they have the right mindset and can play the way they all know they are capable of.
“Our team has the strokes, sometimes the problem is implicating them into match play,” said Doversola. “We just need to believe in ourselves and the skills that we have in order to make it far in the tournament. Confidence is something our team lacks. We just have to learn to fake it until we make it.”
According to Doversola, the team needs to focus on every point if it hopes to win.
“The good thing about tennis is it isn’t over until it is over,” said Doversola. “There is no buzzer to stop you from losing. We plan on showing up and taking each match one point at a time.”