The SUNY Plattsburgh tennis team wrapped up the season this weekend at the Binghamton Tennis Center, starting with a 7-2 victory over the College at Brockport Friday.
The Cardinals won all three of their doubles matches, with junior Rukshana Abdeen and sophomore Sarah Hoeffner defeating their No. 1 opponents 8-4, while prior to the match the pair was 4-1. Freshman Cydney Bond and junior Kelly Gloo won 8-5 at No. 2, and junior Erin Wiggins paired up with sophomore Megan Blake for a competitive 8-7 win at the No. 3.
In singles play, Abdeen took down her No. 1 opponent, winning 6-1 the first set and 6-2 the second. Hoeffner prevailed at No. 4, winning the first set 6-3 and the second set 6-4. At No. 6, Wiggins came out on top, winning both sets 6-4.
Gloo handed her No. 5 opponent her second singles loss of the season, before having a record of 7-1. The match had to go to three sets. Gloo came out on top the first set, winning 6-4, lost the second set 6-2, and defeated her opponent, winning the third set 6-4.
“It was great; three sets was a lot but it was great to play against her; she was a good player, Gloo said, and I’m proud of myself for sticking with that match and coming out on top.”
The season continued the next day with a loss to SUNY Geneseo, losing 7-2.
Abdeen contributed to both of Plattsburgh State’s two points, starting with her 8-6 doubles victory at the No. 1 spot with her partner, Hoeffner, to hand their opponents just their second doubles loss of the season after having a record of 6-1. Abdeen then went on to defeat her No. 1 opponent in both sets, winning the first 6-2 and the second 6-0.
Wiggins and Blake nearly came out on top at No. 3 doubles, but couldn’t get the win, losing 8-6 at No. 3.
The Cards played their final game of the season the next day in a must-win game for a chance in the SUNYAC tournament against 10-3 Fredonia (3-3 SUNYAC) and prevailed 6-3.
“No one expected it at all. I don’t think they expected it either,” Hoeffner said. “They were expecting to go into the final four. Everyone came ready to play, we all had a really good match. They were tight matches too, It wasn’t like we blew them away or anything.”
SUNY Plattsburgh won two of its three doubles matches, with Abdeen and Hoeffner coming out on top again, winning 8-4 at the top spot. Wiggins and Blake prevailed at No. 3 winning 8-6.
Abdeen took down her No. 1 counterpart, who was 10-3 in singles play prior to the matchup. She won the first set 6-1 and the second 6-2. Bond prevailed at No. 4, winning the first set 7-5, losing the second 6-1 then took part in a very competitive third set, winning 7-6. Hoeffner won at No. 5, winning the first set 6-2 and the second set 6-4. Finally, Wiggins triumphed at No. 6, winning the first set 6-2 and passing her opponent 6-0 in the second.
The Cards finished in a three-way tie for fourth place in the SUNYAC standings with SUNY Cortland and Fredonia at 3-4. Cortland claimed the fourth seed, and the final spot in the SUNYAC playoffs based on tiebreakers.
“The kids played hard; they played their best and things happen,” Co-head coach Karen Waterbury said, “To be honest, I’d focus more on the process and how we improved over the course of the season and how the players really responded and to coaching and trying to improve themselves. Overall I look at the season as a huge success.”
Plattsburgh State got swept by Cortland 9-0 Sept. 20.
“We’re glad that we tied for fourth, regardless. It was a little frustrating that Cortland got the final spot, but again when we went to Cortland, we were missing Rukshana and Sierra due to personal reasons and academic stuff so that definitely makes a difference because everyone had to move up two spots,” Hoeffner said. “Not saying we would’ve won if everyone was in their normal spots, but I think it would’ve been a little bit different.”
The Abdeen and Hoeffner doubles team finished the season 7-2, Wiggins and Blake finished 5-4 and Bond finished 4-5 with senior Sierra Barrett. For overall doubles, Hoeffner finished with a strong 10-3 record, Blake finished the year 8-5, Abdeen finished her year 7-2, Wiggins 6-4, Bond 6-7 and Barrett 4-6.
Hoeffner claimed the team’s best record in singles play as well, finishing the year 9-3. Abdeen finished strong with a record of 7-2, Gloo finished 6-3, Wiggins 5-3, Bond 6-7, Barrett 4-6 and freshman Alyana Leandry finished 4-8.
This season marks the fifth consecutive winning regular season for the Cards tennis team, finishing with a 7-6 overall record and a 3-4 SUNYAC record.
Sunday’s game against Fredonia marked the final collegiate match for Abdeen, Barrett and senior Madison Brennan.
Waterbury talked about how much of a joy it was discovering Abdeen and what she has seen from her and how she first saw her play with guys who she said were “just bad”. Abdeen stood out, most of all, it was her swing that caught Waterbury’s attention.
“I was watching her play, and I thought her swing looked beautiful and she was really playing like a pro,” Waterbury said.
Waterbury offered Abdeen a spot on the team right after.
“She’s got such a natural stroke,” she said, “she’s a steady competitor, and she keeps her emotions really intact. She’s just a very, very strong player and a really nice person, so certainly we’re gonna miss her.”
Hoeffner talked about how great a leader Sierra was and how great a supporter Madison was for the team.
“[Sierra’s] a force to be reckoned with, both singles and doubles. She’s also a nursing major, which I am too, so I look up to her with time management. She’s like the mom of the group and has everything very organized, and that’s something we all kind of learn from her,” Hoeffner said. “Madison is probably the most positive person on the team. She cheers everyone on no matter what. No matter where we are, who’s tired, who we’re against or whether we’re winning or losing. She is the biggest cheerleader for everyone and you need someone like her on any sports team.”
The 2019 team’s seniors and Abdeen tied last year’s seniors for the most wins for a class in program history, finishing with a 33-20 record over the past four seasons.