Tennis Play Resumes After Winter Break


Christopher Palm

Graduate player Sydney Nye (left) competes in her singles match versus St. Elizabeth.

The tennis season for both the men and the women resumed this past March after more than four months of rest during the winter season.

After the fall half of the season that saw only one win against Immaculata, the Harrisburg Lions look to come off of a slump heading into the spring.

“We have a lot of freshmen this year stepping up and playing matches,” said graduate player Sydney Nye.  “Coming from playing high school tennis to playing college tennis is very different so people can’t really play.”

Thankfully, the team utilized the fall half of the season as a learning process to work on skills and depth as far as who should be playing who.

With this being the first full season since the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on on-campus activity, the team seems to be coming back into full swing despite returning to play last year in the spring.

“It’s different because last year, we played minimal matches and there were all these restrictions,” said Nye.

For the players that stayed on the team that year, there were minimal practice times and less traveling due to mitigation efforts as compared to this year.

Returning to the courts this spring at the Hoverter Tennis Complex, located next to the CUB, the Lions turned their season around with a win over York College.

The men won eight matches to one over their former conference rival, including a sweep in all three doubles matches.

Caleb Fockens led the charge for the Lions without giving up a point in his singles match.

The women opened their spring campaign with a 5-4 win over the Spartans as well, winning two doubles matches and three in the singles round.

Samantha Bogush was victorious in both number two matches, winning 8-6 in the doubles round alongside Isabella Pizzelanti and both players swept both sets in their respective singles matches.

“That’s the first time we’ve ever beaten York,” said Nye.  “York is a good school for tennis and we always have had good matches against them so to come out on top, it was really awesome.”

Despite losing in the number one doubles match alongside Nye, Breanna DeSantis came back in the number three singles match to win in both sets.

Their next match was slated to take place four days later against Kutztown but was postponed to later in April.

“We’ve been having issues with the weather,” said Nye.  “The weather hasn’t been in our favor but our first match against York (Pa.) went really well.”

Heading into their next match against St. Elizabeth, the Lions came out strong and dominated the courts on a windy Saturday afternoon.

Nye and DeSantis led the effort on the women’s side, winning both their doubles and singles matches and shutting down St. Elizabeth in all six singles matches.

The men’s side was nearly the same result as they cruised to a 9-0 victory, earning a clean sweep in the doubles round with Fockens and Sachin Venkatesh in the number one doubles match.

Aaron Krasley was credited with the win in the number one singles matches, sweeping both sets in winning fashion.

Opening conference play, the Lions came on top as both the men and women swept Penn College winning all nine of their respective matches.

Bogush, Krasley and Derwin Merca scored clean sheets in their singles matches as RIshikesh Singh and Evan Stillwell shut out their opponents 8-0 in doubles play.

“They’re at a really good place to do some really good work on the court,” said Nye, “so I think they are going to see a big improvement as well this spring compared to the fall.”

The Lions will look to add more wins to their season as the women defend their United East conference championship from last year and the men continue to improve throughout the spring.

The team’s next home match is this Thursday, April 7, in a non-conference matchup against Messiah, beginning at 3:30 pm.