No. 22 TRIBE 1, No. 25 TCU 6
In its season opener, the 22nd-ranked College of William and Mary fell 6-1 to no. 25 Texas Christian University (1-1) Sunday afternoon. The Tribe (0-1) failed to seize an opportunity to defeat a top-25 foe as senior Klaudyna Kasztelaniec captured the only point for the College at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.
“We competed well; everyone fought; the desire [to win] is strong,” Head Coach Meredith Geiger-Walton said. “There is no doubt that this team wants to win and they pull together and fight for each other. What is tough is
that we really aren’t match-ready yet.”
Geiger-Walton thought the Horned Frogs had a slight advantage because they already had a match under their belts before stepping on the court against the College.
The day started poorly for the Tribe, as TCU swept doubles play to earn the first point of the match. The College’s no. 3 doubles team of junior Carmen Pop and freshman Katie Kargl came closest to a win, fighting through two early breaks before falling 8-6.
The College’s top doubles team – the no. 37-ranked tandem of senior Kat Zoricic and junior Ragini Acharya – fell behind early in an 8-4 setback against the Horned Frogs’ no. 16 ranked doubles squad of Anna Sydorska and Marcall Harkins. Acharya and Zoricic gained strength and confidence as the match progressed, but the early deficit was too much for the duo to overcome.
“[Acharya and Zoricic were] a little slow in the beginning,” Geiger-Walton said. “But they are a strong team. Once they started running their plays they picked it up.”
No. 95 Zoricic returned to the court in the top singles spot against TCU’s 12th-ranked Nina Munch-Soegaard. Zoricic’s powerful baseline play was not enough to upend the talented Munch-Soegaard, who cruised to a 6-3, 7-6 victory.
The 79th-ranked Acharya fared no better against TCU’s Harkins. Acharya found herself in position to win the first set, after going up 6-5 thanks to three consecutive aces, but the junior could not break Harkins, who won in a tiebreaker. Harkins went on to defeat Acharya 7-6, 6-3.
“[Harkins] was really good,” Acharya said. “She ran me ragged. It was the first time since freshman year that I played [at second seeded singles]. There is another level of competition.”
Kasztelaniec was the only Tribe competitor to register a win, defeating TCU’s Sydorska 7-6, 6-2.
“I think that was a great confidence booster for [Kasztelaniec],” Geiger-Walton said. “She is playing number three in the lineup, so she is definitely going to have tough matches every time. I thought she did a superb job from beginning to end staying with the match, competing and finding ways to put pressure on her opponent.”
The Tribe returns to the courts Saturday when it hosts 16th-ranked University of Texas as part of a qualifying pod for the ITA Indoor Team Championships before playing either no. 18 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill or no. 19 University of Michigan Sunday. All matches are held in the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.
Last season at ITA National Team Indoors, the College lost its opening match 4-1 to ninth-ranked University of Miami (Fla.). The Tribe went on to split its consolation round matches, notching a win over no. 75 University of Wisconsin-Madison.