By Mikayla Heiss
BU News Service
BOSTON – Boston University Women’s Tennis swept the Bryant Bulldogs (7-0), continuing to overwhelm the competition in their 2020 dual season homecoming.
The Terriers are now 2-0 after defeating Binghamton University and Bryant. Erica Di Battista, a freshman who recently earned the Patriot League Female Tennis Player of the Week, factored into the win, playing in No. 1 doubles and singles.
With multiple victories and the league’s weekly title, Di Battista hit the ground running after the winter break.
“My first week of the season feels great, especially since I’m a freshman, and I’m new to the team,” she said.
Although Di Battista and her partner, Alex Angyalosy, beat their opponents 6-3, the player said doubles pose the greatest difficulty, particularly due to the lack of warmups beforehand. Di Battista also has a strong commitment to becoming comfortable competing with the team versus playing individually. With her partner, Di Battista tackles these challenges.
“If something is going wrong, we’d know how to solve the problem and work through it,” Di Battista said.
Doubles requires teamwork and coordination. For the Bryant Bulldogs, who entered the spring season with a 2-0 record and victories in all doubles matches, this hadn’t appeared to be an issue.
A strong duo, Aleksi Gottlieb and Megan Tan won both of their NEC Tournament matches and posted an 8-3 doubles mark last season. In fall, they won both of their doubles matches (6-0 and 6-4). However, Lily Burchell and Steph Nguyen surpassed the pair, winning 6-2.
Burchell remained dominant in No. 4 singles, winning 6-0 and 6-1. Nguyen also stood her ground, going 6-0 and 6-4 against Gottlieb.
The only Bulldog to capture a singles set victory was Ada Boru. After losing the first set, Boru fought back against Angyalosy in No. 2 singles. However, the victory was short lived as Angyalosy went 10-6 in the final set.
The contribution from all Boston University players is encouraging to Di Battista.
“Knowing that we have a solid lineup and that girls are ready to compete gives me confidence,” she said.
Head Coach Lesley Sheehan recognized the first couple matches as confidence boosters. The victories will put players in the right mindset before heading away to Ithaca and Syracuse this weekend, she said.
However, confidence may not be enough to carry the team through the league tournament. Since joining the Patriot League in 2014, BU Women’s Tennis has won the Patriot League Tournament four times (2014-2017). They proceeded to the NCAA Tournament only to be swept by their opponents in the first round every year.
The 2019 season appeared to be the year of Terrier tennis as BU posted a 6-0 Patriot League record. However, the team fell to Army West Point in the conference final (4-3 loss).
“We’ve had some close matches in the past years,” Sheehan said. “This year, what we’re trying to do is really prepare them mentally, as well. Get them having skills during major pressure situations so that they can overcome the pressure situations.”
With back-to-back sweeps, the pressure the Terriers face appears limited. Cornell, which went 6-16 overall last season, will be the next opponent to test the Terriers.