Tennis teams head to tourney unbeaten

Can you say undefeated? Well, the women’s tennis team can as they improved to 8-0 with a win over Mass.-Liberal Arts on Oct. 1. So far, none of their opponents has won more than three matches against them.

Katie Bucci and Michelle Podnecky dominated doubles play against MCLA with an 8-2 victory over Melanie Katcher and Jennifer Paskowski.

In singles play, Bucci beat Carrie Richards 10-0, Brittni Racine defeated Gaby Rivera 10-0, Podnecky defeated Katcher 10-1, and Emily Hallett defeated Sandra Sheridan 10-5.

The Spartans’ next match was to be against Lyndon State College but was postponed due to weather conditions.

As the regular season came to a close, head coach Paul Cohen reflected on the remarkable accomplishments of his team. Cohen explained that the highlight for him was defeating Plymouth State University at Plymouth for the first time ever after the Spartans had been dominated by the Panthers in a preseason invitational.

Cohen explained that Bucci and Podnecky, two freshmen, had been put on the “grandstand” court in their first collegiate match, something he seemed to think was unfair to the young players. The duo was defeated in doubles play 8-1 in that invitational.

Cohen said that going back to Plymouth and winning the match 7-2 with authority was great “redemption.”

Cohen’s team will take uplifting experiences like this one and a 3-0 record in VSC play to the VSC tournament as the heavy favorite.

The tournament, which will consist of Castleton, Lyndon, and Johnson State Colleges, will begin this Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Grand Slam Tennis in Rutland. The tournament will continue Saturday at Castleton State College or Grand Slam Tennis, depending on the weather forecast.

Cohen is excited for the VSC tournament this weekend, but he is proud of his team’s accomplishments this season no matter what the outcome is.

“I’m looking forward to the tournament this weekend,” Cohen said. “Even though this was not the toughest schedule we have ever faced, finishing undefeated in the regular season has been a tremendous accomplishment.

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