The Drumlins Advantage
By Cameron Ezeir
CitrusTV Tennis Beat Reporter
A well-known advantage in sports is playing at home. The argument is whether it’s fact or conspiracy. In both college basketball and football, percentages show that home-court/field advantage is a real thing, with over 50% of home teams winning. For the Syracuse Tennis team, Drumlins Country Club has provided a leg up for the Orange since the beginning of the century. In fact, SU has yet to record a losing season at home ever.
The significance of this rather intricate statistic is that Syracuse is currently on a nine-game homestand. With wins over Cornell, BU and St. Johns already in the books, only three duels separate ‘Cuse from their best start to a season since 2016. In the past two years, their only home losses have been to ranked opponents as well. This bodes well for a team that hosts 12 of their 20 scheduled duels this season, with Duke and Wake Forest being the only ranked teams so far.
So far, this year’s Orange team has thrived in the comforts of Drumlins. After recovering from a doubles point loss to Cornell and dominating Boston University, SU faced their toughest challenge yet against St. Johns. Not only did the Orange lose Polina Kozyreva to injury, they also had to forfeit a singles match. Down 0-3, the magic of home-court advantage shined through. Against all odds, SU won four straight singles matches to take the duel over the Red Storm.
Although one can credit home-court advantage for SU’s wins, the more important aspect of these victories is how the players perform. For example, Miranda Ramirez, in her four seasons at SU, has posted a 27-7 singles record (up to date) at Drumlins. Her dominance at home includes an impressive 4-1 record in singles play against ranked teams.
Ramirez was a huge reason why SU climbed out of an 0-3 hole versus St Johns to improve to 5-0 on the season. The accuracy on her one-handed backhand heightens at home. Even the way she is able to control the pace of play cannot be overshadowed. One cannot forget that she has yet to drop a singles match this season. In fact, she has only dropped one set through five games. So, whether it’s the comfortability with the courts or having home fans on your side, the atmosphere of Drumlins produces a different SU team.
For other players like Guzal Yusupova and Sonya Treshcheva, they are not winning at the pace of Ramirez, but are doing what’s necessary for the team to win. Kim Hansen and Zeynep Erman have racked up three consecutive straight set wins in singles at home. Polina Kozyreva is the other freshman who, before getting injured, dominated with back-to-back straight set wins over Cornell and BU at Drumlins. With all the positive results for SU at home, it’s safe to say that home-court advantage is a real thing.
The Orange currently sit at 3-0 at Drumlins and will play six home games in the next 16 days. This weekend, they host Boston College and Buffalo, looking to match 2016’s squad with seven straight wins to start the season.
For everyone who is a non-believer that playing at home is an advantage, in the past 20 years of Syracuse Tennis, the Orange are 121-36 in the confines of Drumlins and 92-118 on the road. Judging off these numbers, it’s pretty hard to dispute that Drumlins provides a leg up for the Syracuse Orange.
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