Men: Fairfield University 7 Rider University 0
Women: Fairfield University 7 Rider University 0
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Match
LAWRENCEVILLE--Both the Rider University men's and women's tennis teams were swept by defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion Fairfield University on Wednesday afternoon in the 2012 fall opener.
"When you start off playing the defending conference champions, it is always a tough match," said head coach Ed Torres, in his 18th season at Rider. "My advice to them was to try to keep the ball in play and to not try and out-hit your opponent."
For the Rider (0-1, 0-1 MAAC) men, senior Mike Gershon (East Brunswick) won five games at number six singles before losing 6-2, 6-3.
"Mike kept the ball in play and made his opponent work for his points," Torres said. "The Fairfield player said to me after the match how much Mike made him work for his points."
For the Rider (0-1, 0-1 MAAC) women, sophomore Michelle Caravaglio (Manalapan/Freehold) won two games at second singles before losing 6-2, 6-0 with senior Alexa Manforti (Toms River/Toms River HS South) winning two games at third singles before losing in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.
"Michelle is a hard hitter," Torres said. "I told her to work the corners and she was able to force some long rallies. Going for that bigger winner isn't Michelle's style and we wanted to force the Fairfield player to try and make the great shot. Michelle didn't win many games but she did win a lot of points and forced many of her games to deuce."
Caravaglio won seven matches as a Rider rookie in 2011-12.
Caravaglio and senior Marly Roche (Sussex/High Point Regional) teamed up at first doubles and took four games before falling 8-4.
The Rider women host Manhattan College in a MAAC match on Saturday at noon.
"Saturday is going to be a good match," Torres added. "Manhattan is tough but they aren't going to be as tough as Fairfield was today and I expect a closer match."