After winning their season opener over East Tennessee State, William and Mary lost four of their next five matches, including their conference opener at Elon. Friday, Mar. 19, however, they steadied the ship with a 7-0 win over Mary Washington.
According to graduate student Brenden Volk, the team’s loss to Elon changed their mindset heading into the second half of the season.
“That loss flipped a switch and sparked a fire within us,” Volk said. “We have been a different team on the practice court recently, and then showed it in the match with Mary Washington.”
The Tribe won two of three doubles matches, claiming the match’s opening point with an 8-5 victory from Kazakov and Brailovsky and an 8-3 win from Talcott and junior Daniel Pellerito.
The Tribe swept Mary Washington 6-0 in singles matches, with only Volk’s match entering a tiebreaker. Volk won the first set 7-5 before dropping the second set 6-7.
“The match against Hutchinson was very demanding, both physically and mentally,” Volk said. “He is a good player who serves and volleys which is a game style that we do not see too often in tennis anymore.”
In the tiebreaker, Volk made several adjustments to account for Hutchinson’s style of play.
“I just tried to bring as much positive energy as I could and focus on what I could control,” Volk said. “My teammates also supported me throughout the tiebreaker which provided a boost to my game.”
Volk’s win over Hutchinson marked his third of the season, and his second on line one.
Sophomore George Davis and senior Finbar Talcott claimed the most dominant victories, each defeating their opponents 6-2, 6-2. Graduate student Lev Kazakov and senior Sebastian Quiros each recorded their third singles wins of the spring season.
Junior Joseph Brailovsky closed out the singles matches with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mary Washington’s Peter Leese, improving his record to 4-2 this year.
Heading into the second half of the season, Volk feels the Tribe will be playing with a chip on their shoulders.
“Our plan is to continue to improve every day on the court and push one another to our limits,” Volk said. “We have some good matches left to play in the regular season and then we have the conference tournament.”
Volk noted that the team’s goal is to win the Colonial Athletic Association Championships.
“Any other result is a failed season for us. We will do everything in our power to ensure that when the time comes, it is the Tribe who come out on top,” Volk said.
The Tribe will head to Harrisonburg, Va. Saturday afternoon to face James Madison in their second conference match-up of the season.