By: Drew Hendrickson, Director of Tennis, Fitness, and Summer Programs
The Curley gym was HYPED for their first home match of the year against the Umana, and the positive energy played a key role in the Curley’s decisive 4-0 win.
Coach Payne Schanski had the Curley Crazies fired up for this showdown that featured 4 doubles teams. The Umana, however, did not go quietly into that good night. They rolled 20-deep with staff and students coming out to support their teammates (#shoutout #norentalcar).
In the first pair of matches, Curley 8th graders Jose Cabrera and Odalis Melo defeated the Umana’s Mateo Gaviria and John Le. The Curley’s 2nd doubles team, Jeremiah Sanchez and Amina Cherfils, followed suit defeating Ana Ventura and Jonathan Lopez of the Umana.
The second round of matches treated the Umana Eagles no better as Nayshawn Niles and Dero Tejeda cruised past Giselle Martinez and Yoana Romero, and Carlos Gonzalez and Jay Jalal bested Carlos Landaverde and Adrian Aguirre.
“I think the environment kind of got to us,” said Umana head coach Caitlin Cataldo. “We’d just like the chance to take them on in the Eagle’s Nest.”
Her assistant coach, Giacomo Graziani, seemed to concur. “I’ve never seen team tennis so hyped,” said Graziani, who also seemed, himself, rattled by the raucous crowd.
This was the Umana’s first defeat of the season, and it was a happy result for fans of the Lila G. Frederick. The Frederick is now the only undefeated team in the league and sits alone at the top of the MSTL standings.
In the other match of the week, the Jackson Mann defeated the Washington Irving, 2-0. The JMann team of Mohammed Aden and Abdo Alfageeh defeated Irving’s Hamza Diallo and Brianna Duarte, 4-1. And JMann’s Emmanuel Nbah and Justin Vicente defeated the Irving’s Alyieha Morales and Damian Palomin, also 4-1.
This clash of 6th graders took place in the hallowed Cass Center and was the first team match of any of these young players’ careers.
“The emphasis was on serving and showing resilience,” said JMann head coach Zack Goodstein, who couldn’t remember the last names of several of his players.
Emphasis on first names notwithstanding, the JMann Tigers took another baby step up the standings and are now tied for second place. On Friday November 19th, they lock horns with a McCormack team looking to get on track.
Notably, team tennis success may become the JMann’s most effective recruiting tool. They added two new 6th graders on the heels of this week’s win.
In addition to the JMann vs. McCormack matchup on Friday November 18th, the Irving will take on the Curley in the Lion’s Den on Wednesday the 16th, and the Umana plays the Frederick at the hallowed Cass Center on Thursday the 17th.