(From left to right) Head Coach Kelci Henn, captain Nicole Svantner and #1 singles Samantha Svantner strategize after the sisters’ doubles match.
Junior captain Hallie Hurwitz breathes in and readies herself before a serve at the Memorial Hall Tennis Courts Sept. 23. Hurwitz has the most wins in doubles play this season with eight.
By Kamiko Chamble
The Plattsburgh Cardinals women’s tennis team hosted the two-time defending conference champions New Paltz Hawks, losing 0-9 Sept. 30. In its final game before the final stretch of conference games in Binghamton, Plattsburgh learned from the test.
In doubles #1, Samantha Svantner and Nicole Svantner lost 2-8 to Justine Stanejko and Loretta Donovan; in doubles #2, Ava Carey and Jacklin Mitchell lost 2-8 to Onalee Batcheller and Isabel van der Veen; in doubles #3, Hallie Hurwitz and Jacqueline Svantner lost 4-8 to Tatiana Barnett and Nina Genzone.
In singles #1, Samantha Svantner lost 0-6, 0-6 against Stanejko; in singles #2, Nicole Svantner lost 1-6, 0-6 against Batcheller; in singles #3, Benowitz lost 1-6, 2-6 against Barnett; in singles #4, Carey lost 0-6, 0-6 against Donovan; in singles #5, Hurwitz lost 1-6, 6-1, 1-6 against Amirah Alston; and in singles #6, Mitchell lost 6-2, 2-6, 6-10.
Mitchell’s hard-fought loss was her first singles loss all season. Her record is now 8-1.
Nicole Svantner was confident in her performance, despite the scores not reflecting it. She left it all out on the court.
“I played my heart out, which is awesome. Scores, unfortunately, I don’t think reflect how I played cause we got really close matches each time. It was great playing against hard hitters,” Svantner said.
This weekend is the biggest stretch of games all season for Plattsburgh.
It traveled to Binghamton yesterday to begin a three-game SUNYAC slate as it chases a playoff berth.
“We play all three SUNYAC games and if we are able to sweep then we’ll be making playoffs, which hasn’t happened in a very long time,” Head Coach Kelci Henn said.
Plattsburgh needed the Cortland Red Dragons to beat the Geneseo Knights to remain in the race. The Dragons knocked off the Knights 5-4 Sept. 30. The Cardinals knew what they needed to do to capitalize on this opportunity.
“Next week I could work on the mental game. Working on the mental game is going to be important for me, spending a lot of time playing game play in practice,” Hurwitz said.
Plattsburgh may have taken home a loss but Henn is very proud with her players’ work in this game.
“I’m happy with everyone’s level of performance, we played up more than we usually do. I think everyone really brought out their toughest shots. They were more aggressive than they ever have been in the last few weeks,” Henn said.
Captain Nicole Svantner had no problem taking responsibility.
“Today I had a rough time keeping a level head, I think it’s because I felt like I could’ve gotten more points,” Svantner said.
Plattsburgh is planning to be in its best headspace in Binghamton.
“I learned that the mental game is a lot more important than the physical game, which some people might not expect, but as soon as you start getting frustrated with yourself, it’s basically over for you,” Hurwitz said.
The Cardinals started the Binghamton stretch with a very important 7-2 win against the Brockport Golden Eagles Thursday, Oct. 5, keeping its playoff hopes alive. Now, the Cardinals need to win against Geneseo today, Friday, Oct. 6 and the Fredonia Blue Devils tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 7, and for the Oneonta Red Dragons or Geneseo to lose out.