By Adam Zaki
Published: September 21st, 2016
The Brooklyn College Women’s tennis team began the 2016 season on September 7 with only one senior on the roster. This young group, accompanied by a rookie head coach, will look to develop its young talent in conjunction with creating a winning culture—something that has been absent from BC women’s tennis for quite some time.
After dropping his season opener to John Jay College 4-5, head coach David Wallis spoke after his first match on the job. He responded to the loss by saying, “We were right there. We just have to close out matches and follow through with every stroke.” The Bloodhounds dominated the Bulldogs in the beginning of both singles and doubles play, forcing BC to claw itself out of an insurmountable hole. Despite dominant singles play by the lone senior Rebecca Solano (6-1) (6-3) and freshman Elizaveta Meshkalova (6-1) (6-0), the Bulldogs were edged to a 0-1 record to start the season.
Following the opener, the Bulldogs hosted Lehman College to continue City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) play to begin the season on September 12th. The Bulldogs were embarrassed at home, getting shut out in both singles and doubles play, falling to the Lightning 0-9. The loss resulted in Brooklyn falling to 0-2, a tough start for a club with so much youth.
After that dreadful loss, the Bulldogs bounced back the following day with a whopping of their own, this time with The College of New Rochelle on the receiving end. In their first road match of the season, the Bulldogs dominated the Blue Angels 9-0. Perhaps aided by a change in scenery, the Bulldogs got their first win of the season. Claudia Mizrahi earned her first singles win as a member of the Bulldogs, as she defeated the Blue Angels’ Iyesogie Aghahowa, 10-4. The victory will also go down as Coach Wallis’ first at the reigns of the program. After the win, Coach Wallis was excited for his team.
After the victory, the Bulldogs continued CUNYAC play by hosting the Baruch College Bearcats on September 15. Despite a strong victory by Fatma Serageldin in singles play (7-5) (6-4) for the Bulldogs, the Bearcats were able to execute consistent play in both singles and doubles. The Bulldogs fell to 1-3 on the season after a 3-6 loss.. All three of their losses are in CUNYAC play, something that may haunt the club towards the end of the season when it comes to the CUNYAC Championships.
Looking to avoid a dreary 1-4 start on the season, the Bulldogs visited St Joseph’s College (Brooklyn) on September 18. The road proved to be forgiving to the Bulldogs yet again as they took five of six matches in singles play to silence the Bears, 7-2. The win gave the Bulldogs their second of the year, as they continue to perform better against non-conference opponents.
After a postponed matchup against Kean University on September 20th, the Bulldogs will take on the College of Staten Island (3-2, 2-0 in conference) in their first road game against a CUNYAC opponent.