Delaware tennis off to hot start
Associate Sports Editor
The men and women of Delaware tennis have hit the courts hard this 2020 season and have a combined record of 17-4 on the season. Both are looking to keep this strong start alive as both teams are coming off seasons where they finished with a .500 win percentage.
The men finished 14-14 and went 0-3 in conference play, while the women finished 11-11 and went 1-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Both teams were shut out 4-0 in their opening round matches of the CAA tournament.
In their first ten matches of 2020, the men hold a 12-1 record, with a 2-0 record in the CAA. Immediately improving upon their in-conference record. The Blue Hens have won their last nine matches and have not lost since mid-January.
The recent success of the Hens has been a team effort, with production coming from everyone. Freshman Liam Hedlund and sophomore James Wilkinson are both on a roll with Hedlund winning his last eight matches and Wilkinson his last five.
Sophomore Luis Molina and junior Justice Jones are 9-2 and 8-3 respectively on the year and have contributed in allowing the Blue Hens to get off to a hot start.
In Delaware’s 25 appareances in the CAA tournament, they hold an 8-0 record in the first round. Advancing past the quarterfinals is a different story. The Blue Hens have never made it to a CAA semi-finals or CAA finals match and are 0-17 in the quarterfinal rounds.
On the women’s side, the team boasts a 5-3 overall record and is 1-1 in CAA play. The Blue Hens started out hot, winning their first four matches of the season, before cooling off. The Hens bounced back with an impressive win against Hofstra, winning 6-1, putting them back on the right track.
The women’s team has seen solid production from Eliza Askarova and Sarah Whited. Askarova holds an overall 12-5 record and is 7-3 in her last ten matches. Whited is 10-8 on the season. The solid play of these two has allowed the team to get off to a promising start.
Similar to the men, the women have never made an appearance in the CAA finals. The Blue Hens have only made it past the quarterfinals once. The Blue Hens made their first and only CAA semi-finals appearance during the 2012-2013 season when they were knocked out by William and Mary.
With continued success, both the mens and womens teams are setting themselves up for ground-breaking seasons. For the Blue Hens to make it to the CAA final would be a huge step for two teams that are mentioned very little in the realm of athletics on campus.
The men’s team hosts La Salle this Friday, March 6th, at 12 p.m. at the Delcastle Tennis Center. The women’s team heads to the nation’s capital this Thursday, March 5th, to take on George Washington University at 1 p.m.