GABE KAMINSKY — Starting on a high note, Denison’s men’s and women’s tennis teams plan to keep the competition up as they head into the 2019 season.

Both men’s and women’s tennis captured their first wins of the season on February 16 and 17.

The 27th ranked men’s team defeated Rhodes College 6-3 at home, on Saturday. It was the Singles players who secured the win for the Big Red—winning five of six matches. #2 singles Mitchell Thai ‘21 dominated Rhodes’ Phil Lauture  6-0, 6-2.

In the #3 singles match, freshman Tim Cianciola had a stellar performance against P.J. Shaw, winning in straight sets 6-0, 6-2.

Singles players Kevin Brown, Patrick McGuigan, and Jacob Dennen all took home wins as well. The only singles loss was #1 Vlad Rotnov, who suffered an unfortunate tiebreak loss. The final score was, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, 1-0. Weisberg and McGuigan won 8-6, the only doubles win.

On Saturday, March 2, The team will travel to Hope College and undertake to sustain this momentum.

The following day, the #30 ranked Women’s team defeated Indiana University of Pennsylvania 6-3 at home. You might be wondering—there are two Indiana Universities? Yep! But it’s clear one is athletically superior to the other.

It was a big momentum shift for #1 singles Lauren Hawley to tie the first set at 2-2 after trailing early. She beat Katya Michenkova 7-5, 5-2.

The Big Red gained the lead when #4 singles Hannah Ciancola, defeated Thais Andreotti 7-5, 6-4.

At #3, though, it was a difficult loss for Alex Cash—6-4, 6-4. It was a thrilling sequence of events for the team. #2 Emma Alsup won in three sets over Julia Newman, 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-2, #6 Ashley Hammonds 7-6 (1) (6-0), and Megan Hickey’s 6-3 7-6 (10) victory.

The only doubles win was captured by Hawley and Alsup, beating Minchnkova and Andreotti 8-5. Along with the Men’s, the Women’s team will travel to Hope College in Holland, Michigan for a match with the #39 ranked team.

#2 Men’s Singles Tim Cianciola had this to say about the victories.

“We played a very good match but still have work to do in practice in order to be successful with the strong schedule ahead. It was certainly nice to get a win at home on Saturday. I think we have a really strong group of guys this year with a lot of emotion who want to win. I know Coach Burling will be working us extra hard to prepare for the Hope College match. I’m really excited to see what we can do!”