After a bumpy ride in the last few out of conference games going back to the Fall, the Red Foxes lost 6-1 this Saturday night. Captain Julia Gabay has consistently been in the spotlight this season, as she played in the No. 1 match in singles yet again. And won again.
Marist was 2-3 overall coming into this matchup, with a 2-0 in conference record and a 0-3 out of conference record. Binghamton, on the other hand, was 1-7 overall. However, —even though their record doesn’t necessarily show it—Binghamton has had more than their fair share of success versus Marist, winning all six matches against the Red Foxes, dating all the way back to 2008.
Going into this match, Marist was looking to bounce back versus Binghamton and get back on the winning track, despite the fact that the Red Foxes actually lead the MAAC, due to their in-conference record.
Julia Gabay is the top player in the Red Fox lineup, and she has traditionally performed well with her dynamic doubles partner, Sam Galu. Recently though, the two have not been paired together due to Coach Gary Sussman’s decision to shuffle up the lineup, in order to give more experience to the younger players. Against the Bearcats, the two could not bring home the match in their column, surrendering the match 6-3.
Although the scoreboard did not lean in Marist’s favor, coach Gary Sussman made note of the fact that his team had made a strong effort, given the lineup changes.
“Played hard, a lot of effort, we had four girls playing out of position due to injury of one of the singles players,” Sussman said.
Coach Sussman also felt that Gabay’s play was imposing, even in a 6-1 team loss. So much so, that she happened to be the only Red Fox to win her singles match. In that match, she managed to take down Samara Eisenberg, a junior for Binghamton that got the best of the Marist captain last season.
“Tremendous effort from Julia [Gabay] at one, defeated a very good player who beat her last year, so I was very proud of her to get that win at one. She’s playing spectacular tennis.”
As Gabay’s consistency and talent ascends, Sussman and the rest Red Foxes are looking ahead to upcoming matches, many of which these out-of-conference matches have prepared them for.
“These players are used to playing people that are better than them,” Sussman said. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. You have to stay focused, and you just have to play.”
Facing a lot of adversity in a very individual-based sport will likely help the Red Foxes in the long run, especially when three of the singles matches went to three sets versus a team that provides plenty of competition. It also doesn’t hurt that Julia Gabay is on a notable streak of success as of late. But the upcoming schedule for Marist is nothing to scoff at, since they will not play a MAAC team until April 4th when they meet up with Siena, who are right on the Red Foxes tails at 4-3 overall and 1-0 in-conference play.
Every loss comes with a lesson, and each one serves as another chink in the armor of Marist’s gritty play. Luckily, Marist has a week of practice ahead of them to rest and prepare for their next dual match against La Salle on February 22, then another match the following day against Bucknell.
Edited by Karl Grant Jr