Women’s and men’s tennis both stumble out of gate

The St. John’s women’s tennis team started the season out with a loss after a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the University of Massachusetts on Sunday afternoon in Amherst, in spite of high hopes for the team this season.

After a 16-7 season in 2006, including a 4-0 record at home, the Red Storm finished fifth in the Big East tournament after a loss to DePaul. Despite the good results, senior captain Alison Adamski knows that needs to change.

“The matches we played in the beginning last year were tough,” Adamski said. “After those games we got the jitters out and performed the way we should have.”

Although the Red Storm is returning a number of players, two seniors, Barbora Blahutiakova and Lauren Lorenzetti, have departed. In the spring semester last year, they went 9-9 and 13-6 respectively.

Returning to the team are seniors Adamski and Lauren Leo, juniors Mariana Chachua, Ashley Harper, and sophomores Gabija Gasiunaite, and Nataly Tumsevica.
The two newcomers to the team are freshmen Ira Aleksova from Macedonia, and junior transfer Maria Zivcicova from Slovakia.

In the fall semester, Aleksova played at the fourth singles position and compiled an 8-2 record. The journalism major won her first collegiate match at the Columbia Invitational (Sept. 16-17), started out the season on a three-game winning streak and had a five-game winning streak that spanned from Oct. 8 to Nov. 11.

Zivcicova produced a 4-0 record during the fall semester, playing in first singles competition. Zivcicova also finished the fall semester regionally ranked No. 18 in the East. Before she came to St. John’s, however, she posted a 15-11 record in her sophomore season at South Alabama. She was also named to the first team All-Sun Belt singles and was named a Sun Belt academic all-star.

The No. 1 doubles team of Adamski and Zivcicova defeated Michele Spiess and Ellen de Jong, 8-3 against UMass. St. John’s also did well in singles competition as it picked up wins in second, third and fourth singles. Zivcicova defeated Masha Pozar (6-1, 6-3) in second singles. Adamski defeated Ellen de Jong (6-4, 3-6, 6-1) in third singles. Aleksova defeated Dasa Stanimirovic (6-0, 6-0) in fourth singles.

Men’s Tennis
The undefeated 50th-ranked Penn State squad dominated the St. John’s men’s tennis team on Sunday morning by a score of 6-1.

At the University Park’s Penn State Indoor Tennis Center in front of the Nittany Lion faithful, the Red Storm fell short in both doubles and singles competition.

In the opening round of doubles play, the St. John’s duo of Louis Desmarteaux and Alex Svetlakov was defeated by the 23rd-ranked tandem of Michael James and Adam Slagter by the score of 8-6. Penn State captured another victory two rounds later to earn the point for doubles.

In the singles battle, the only bright spot for St. John’s was a three-set victory in the opening round against Michael James, provided by the racket of senior captain Desmarteaux. That would be the Red Storm’s only point of the day, however, as Penn State responded with five straight points for a 6-1 final score, capturing four straight sets to end the match.