By Julie Kayzerman & Kyle Bennion
Sports Editor & Photo Editor
Junior Pierce Cooper was one match away from calling himself an All-American.
He didn’t earn the title yet, but he’s still got another year to do it.
Winning five straight singles matches in the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championship, Cooper earned himself a spot in the finals, coming back with a win in the semi-finals after losing the opening set 6-4. He won the next two matches 6-2, ousting an opponent from New York University to take a shot at the final.
Although his tournament run came to end against top-seed Matthew Heinrich from Stevens Institute of Technology, where he lost 6-2 and 6-3, Cooper stunned the College with an admirable tournament performance for the Lions’ tennis team — finishing the three-day tournament with five singles wins in six matches.
“We’re extremely happy with his performance both on and off the court,” assistant coach Mike Klimchack said. “Hopefully in the spring, he can get some revenge over Heinrich.”
Klimchack was the last Lion on the men’s tennis team to receive an All-American singles title in 2007.
Only one other player on the men’s team has also reached the singles title — Mark Hill in 2000.
“I love being on (Cooper’s) court and being able to coach him,” Klimchack said. “We’re hoping he can do it next year. He showed great promise today. I’d love to see his name up there with mine.”
On the women’s side, the tennis team saw action on back to back days this week, hosting Kean University on Saturday, Sept. 20, and visiting William Paterson University the following day.
Both matches were victories that pushed the team’s win streak to 159, while the latter match also sealed the team’s 32nd straight New Jersey Athletic Conference title.
Against Kean, the College won with an overwhelming score of 9-0.
Doubles play saw junior captains Jasmine Muniz-Cadorette and Emma Allen winning by the margin of 8-1, while sophomore Anna Prestera and freshman Maddy Stoner next teamed up to win 8-0.
The final doubles point was secured by sophomore Katie Buchbinder and freshman Danna Tsay by a score of 8-0.
Singles action saw similar results, with Muniz-Cadorette, Buchbinder, freshman Brittany Reedman, Allen, Stoner and Prestera all recording victories.
The following day, against William Paterson, the girls secured an 8-1 victory by starting fast in doubles play. Muniz-Cadorette and Allen won the first match 8-4, while Prestera and Stoner won the second by a margin of 8-1.
Buchbinder and Tsay finished off doubles action with a resounding 8-0 victory.
Five points were earned in singles play to finish off the opposing team, with points contributed by Reedman, Allen, Stoner, Buchbinder and Prestera.
The Lions finish off their conference schedule at Rutgers-Newark on Sept. 25th, at 4 p.m.