Tennis opens season with Lions’ Fall kickoff

The men’s and women’s tennis teams started off the season with a bang this weekend at the Lion’s Fall Kickoff Tournament.

The College squared off against New York University (NYU) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in both singles and doubles action.

The men’s squad was 11-4 in singles action and 3-4 in doubles while the women were 7-13 in singles competition and 4-5 in doubles.

Head coach Scott Dichecksaid he had been looking forward to this first weekend of play ever since practice began. “We have a strong group of returnees and super freshmen,” Dicheck said. “They looked good in practice all week.”

In men’s first singles action, sophomore co-captain Ryan Carty defeated both NYU sophomore Ian Corn 6-3, 6-2 and CMU junior Boris Sofman 6-2, 6-4 to begin his second season as a Lion at 2-0.

Junior co-captain Justin Cook enjoyed a successful weekend as well. Also entering the remainder of the fall season at 2-0, Cook defeated NYU junior Nico Buencamino 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 and Andrew Clearfield of CMU 3-6, 6-3, 1-0.

The College’s women weresuccessful against NYU, but fell short in singles to CMU in all but one contest. Sophomore Aymui Yamazaki was the lone Lion to go 2-0 in the fourth singles spot. After defeating NYU freshman Meggie Smith 6-1, 0-6, 1-0, Yamazaki shut out CMU sophomore Allison Liu 6-0, 6-0.

Senior Katie D’Amato reflected on the team’s performance the weekend. “The team is really deep this year with a lot of talent,” D’Amato said. “We are looking to pick each other up as a team and battle through the closer matches to come out on top of each.”

Along with wins from experienced members of the team, the College’s freshman class proved to be worthy of intercollegiate competition. At first singles, freshman Christina Contrafatto defeated NYU senior Jen Sussman 6-4, 6-1, in her inaugural match with the program.

On the men’s side, freshman Mike Klimchak made waves at third singles with two wins.

“I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know any of the opponents,” Klimchak said. “I expected the competition to be tough because of the intensity of the practices leading up to the weekend.”

Evidently, Dicheck’s practices prepared the squads for battle. Klimchak went 2-0 in singles play this weekend defeating NYU junior Chris Chang on Friday 6-1, 7-5. Saturday delivered another victory, this time against CMU’s Stephen Kuhn 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.

This week the men’s team will work hard to prepare for its upcoming challenges. They will travel to Haverford College to participate in the Philadelphia Area Tennis Tournament this weekend.

The women look ahead to five consecutive New Jersey Athletic Conference games beginning this Wednesday at home against Ramapo College.