Dominant. That is what the Stony Brook Women’s Tennis team has been for several years. In the past four, the Seawolves have won America East titles.

At the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational last weekend, the “B” and “C” singles flights featured all-Stony Brook finals. Sophomores Elizabeth Tsvetkov and Yana Nikolaeva and senior Louise Badoche took home wins in singles flights, while Tsvetkov and Nikolaeva won in doubles.

The trio winning is no new story. Just two weeks ago, they all won titles in Providence, Rhode Island at the Brown Invitational.

Winning is not new to the team as a whole, either. Women’s Tennis has gone 207-97 during head coach Gary Glassman’s tenure. 

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Even with history pointing right to it, Glassman still did not expect the team to jump out to the hot start that they have this season.

“You just never know until they get into the competition,” he said. “What they did down [at the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational] was exceptional. To have two flights where they played each other in the finals, you never expect that.”

The team’s winning ways are a testament to its dedication. Practices are held in the morning, where, according to Glassman, “it’s not always the greatest conditions.”

Wind, darkness and moisture present obstacles for the student-athletes.   

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With the way they have been playing lately, they make tennis look easy anywhere they play. Tsvetkov and Nikolaeva have not only been successful in singles play, but the duo also won a doubles flight together at the Navy Blue and Gold Invitational.

“That was the first time they ever played a tournament together and they cruised right through,” Glassman said. “They beat a team from Princeton 6-0 in the finals. It’s another pleasant surprise you don’t really plan for.”

While the selections for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regionals have not come out yet, Glassman would not be surprised if the duo were to make the regional tournament, where the best of the best in the Northeast come together to compete.

“I’m pretty certain that [Tsvetkov and Nikolaeva] are going to be selected,” Glassman said. “Just by virtue of what they did this past weekend and their individual results from last year.”

Badoche also won flights in the same invitationals and won a consolation draw in the Stony Brook Classic last month.

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On the men’s side, freshman Samuel Taieb has been taking the court by storm.

So far, he has captured single flight victories in all three of his tournament appearances. But what makes him stand out in Glassman’s eyes is his work ethic.

The coach pointed out the top-ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovic, as someone who reminds him of Taieb.

“The way he works and trains and how seriously he takes it is, you look at a guy like Djokovic, right now he’s the benchmark,” Glassman said. “[Djokovic’s] fitness, his mental toughness and the way he competes for every point and you see that a lot of that in Sam, the way he fights for every point. It doesn’t matter if it’s a drill , if it’s practice, a match, whatever. He’s really locked in. He’s intense.”

Although the men’s team has been successful in singles play, they have struggled in doubles. In their first three tournament appearances, the men’s team has only won one doubles flight, which occurred at the Army Invitational. Glassman blames their serving as  being one of the biggest factors in  their lack of success in that aspect of the sport.

“The serve is such a big factor,” according to Glassman. “If the guys are serving well, they’re playing well.”

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However, Glassman is trying to fix this.

In practice, he puts the team in high pressure situations where every point is needed. One bad point or game could be all the difference in a match.

With regular tournament play out of the way, both the men’s and the women’s teams will be in ITA Regional play. Both teams begin the tournament on Oct. 22.

FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Vladsinger 

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