By Chris Molicki
The men’s tennis team wrapped up their season with some key wins in the ITA regional tournament in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. this past weekend.
The College had success in both singles and doubles, winning some tough matches against tough competition in both areas.
Two Lions were able to make it to the quarterfinals of the singles tournament. Junior T. J. Riley had big wins over Will Dickie of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Luis Quintero of Hunter College, 6-4, 6-2, and 7-6 (4), 6-3, respectively. He was defeated in the round of 16 by a score of 6-4, 3-6 (2). Freshman Jack August had an impressive showing by coming back to win 1-6, 6-1 (4), and then upsetting his second round opponent 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3). Like Riley, he fell in the next round, losing to Yevgeny Perepelov from Hunter 6-1, 6-2.
Three other singles competitors took the court for the Lions as well. Senior Dan Lee lost in the first round 6-1, 6-1. Junior Jordan Cruz won his first match 7-5, 2-6 (8) before falling in the second round 6-3, 6-3. Senior Steven Fernandez also got a victory in his opening round match 6-2, 6-7 (4), (5) and then barely lost 6-2, 3-6 (7) in the second round.
“I thought that the team’s performance at regionals was decent considering the last minute changes to the lineup,” said Riley. “Four of the five singles players made it to the second round and then two of those four continued on, which was good.”
The team had similar success in the doubles bracket, showing their ability to win both individually and as a team.
The pair of Riley and Lee shined on Friday, winning 9-7 and then taking another tight one, 8-6. Unfortunately, they were defeated on Saturday 8-4. The College had another doubles team picking up two first-day victories with Fernandez and August taking wins 8-3 in the first round and 8-4 in the second. They lost in the quarterfinals, 8-4. The team of Cruz and sophomore Howard Telson were also in action, losing their first matchup against Rochester.
The season, now over, is considered a success by the players after an uncertain offseason.
“This season was different from others because going into the fall, we had no idea what our team would look like (what the line up would be), and we had a few question marks about our freshmen,” said Riley. “The guys on the team knew close to nothing about them, so we did not know what to expect from them, and Jack turned out to benefit our team from the start, which is a huge advantage.”
Riley expects big things come spring time.
“We have the ability to be great and finish with a high national ranking, but we need to work hard to achieve that goal,” Riley said. “As of now we are not there yet, but we are talented enough to make it happen. We are a pretty laid back group and we are just taking it day by day to see what we can do.”