On a chilly Saturday afternoon on home turf, Boston College men’s tennis took on the visiting Georgetown Hoyas. Fresh off of losses against William and Mary as well as Brown, the Eagles clinched their first victory of the season over the Hoyas.
The action began with doubles play. On court one, Alexander Chieffalo and senior captain Hank Workman represented BC (1-2) against Jordan Portner and Mac Rechan from Georgetown (1-2). Chieffalo and Workman fell to Portner and Rechanin their match, 6-4. Court two had a much better outcome for the Eagles. Aidan McNulty and Conor Mullins coasted to a decisive 6-2 win. With doubles play tied 1-1, it all came down to the last doubles match in order to see which team got the double team point.
The pressure was on as team members, coaches, and spectators all watched Sean Mullins and Derek Austin as they took on Georgetown’s Michael Chen and Ian Witmer. After getting off to a slow start, the Eagles caught up and pushed the match down to the wire. Austin showed his emotion by frequently yelling, “Let’s go!” after various points. The play became competitive as both teams were unwilling to give up. Eventually, the match went into a tie breaker. Austin slammed the ball down in the left hand corner of the court before either Georgetown player could return it. This final hit caused the crowd to erupt in cheers as it gave the Eagles the decisive doubles victory and, thus, the doubles team point.
“[The final doubles match] definitely motivated the team,” said head coach Scott Wilkins. “Especially the way it went down, going to a tiebreaker and the guys pulling that out. In a match like this with Georgetown, who has similar tennis talent and recruits, that was a big edge for us getting that doubles point.”
Going into singles play, the Eagles carried their motivation with them. Unlike doubles play, where the players only play a single set, singles is best out of two in sets. This meant that the players had to quickly refocus and concentrate on their personal matches. McNulty took on Georgetown’s Peter Beatty on the first court. After coming from behind and winning the first set, McNulty began to shine by decisively winning the second set 6-0. Georgetown’s Beatty was not pleased as he showed frustration after each point did not go his way. On the second court, Workman continued to show the Eagles’ tenacity by coming back from a 3-0 Georgetown lead in the first set in order to win the set 7-5. He ended up winning the match and giving BC a commanding 3-0 lead in team play.
Over on court three, Austin was determined to continue to extend the Eagles’ lead. He won both sets easily against Rechan. Austin’s win gave BC its fourth point and therefore clinched the victory for the team. Matches on other courts finished, but the Eagles breathed a sigh of relief. On court four, Mullins lost in a tie-breaker against Georgetown’s Chen. This gave the Hoyas their first and only team point of the afternoon. The final two matches went to the Eagles who ended the day with a 6-1 victory.
Featured Image courtesy of John Quackenbos / BC Athletics