Men’s tennis dominated the competition at the Drew University Invitational with an overall tournament record of 26-1 in singles and doubles.
Facing the Drew University Rangers, New York University (NYU) Violets and Salisbury University Sea Gulls, the College did not expect to have the type of record that it put up.
“The three teams we met at the tournament had beaten us last year,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “To go 17-1 in singles and 9-0 in doubles is beyond what we expected and we are very excited that we are playing so well and improving as the season goes along, too.”
Sophomore co-captain Ryan Carty led the team at first singles to go 3-0 for the tournament. He defeated the Rangers’ freshman Jason Swenson 6-0, 6-3, the Seagulls’ junior Tyler Robinson 6-2, 6-1 and the Violets’ sophomore Ian Corn, 7-6 in a tiebreaker and 6-2 in the second set.
Freshman Michael Klimchak also went 3-0 at third singles in the tournament. Klimchak posted wins against junior Kolby Loft of NYU 7-5, 6-2, sophomore Josh Rucker of Drew 6-1, 6-2 and a 6-2, 6-1 victory over sophomore James Mills of Salisbury.
“I think I played very well,” Kilmchak said. “In the first match against NYU I started out stiff, but as the tournament progressed I relaxed and came out on top.”
In fourth singles, freshman Eric Ferriere also went undefeated for a record of 3-0 for the weekend. Ferriere beat freshman Jared Rochman of Salisbury, 6-2, 6-2, junior Ryan McDonald of Drew, 6-0, 7-6 in a tiebreaker and junior Nico Buencamino of NYU 6-4, 6-2.
Sophomore Corey Ball also went 3-0 in fifth singles beating the Rangers’ sophomore Ross Lieblich, 6-0, 6-0 and the Sea Gulls’ senior Ryan Wendell twice, 1-6, 6-2, 10-6 on Saturday and 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday.
Rounding out singles play at the tournament was freshman Donald Pollosco who also went 3-0 at sixth singles. Pollosco crushed senior Josh Bierne-Golden of NYU, 6-2, 6-3, sophomore Mike Kennedy of Drew, 6-0, 6-2 and sophomore Sean Larson of Salisbury, 6-1, 6-2.
The Lions continued their trend in doubles play, trouncing all opponents and going 9-0 through the tournament. The tandems of Carty and Ball, seniors Victor Lai and Ken Tsui and Klimchak and Ferriere each went 3-0 against the opposition.
Winning not even half of the matches in the same tournament last year, it is clear that the Lions have made significant improvements and intend to make a serious run for nationals this spring.
Women’s tennis tallied a win against Muhlenberg College 6-3 on Sunday, moving them to a perfect record of 8-0 on the year.
Action began as the Lions swept Muhlenberg in doubles play. After 11 games of back-and-forth play, junior captain Jackie Gavornik and freshman Christina Contrafatto pulled away from junior Amy Schmidt and sophomore Pam Kimmelman, beating them 8-5 in first doubles.
“I’m really pleased with the team and how we performed because we put out our best, came out with a lot of energy, and played hard and it was a nice surprise to sweep doubles,” Gavornik said. “It’s always a tough match against Muhlenberg but this year it all came together and we pulled ahead and came away with it.”
The Lions had a tougher time in singles play but managed to hold their lead to gain the win. In a challenging first singles match, the Lions’ Contrafatto fell to the Mules’ Schmidt 6-1, 6-0. However, the Lions were able to win their second, third and fifth singles matches.
“Its been close the past two years with this team and we played a great match today,” Dicheck said. “The improvement the girls have made between now and two weeks ago has made a world of difference and we need to keep progressing. I’m very pleased with our work in the doubles matches because we played very well and we played smart tennis.”
Men’s and women’s tennis will face Ithaca College Friday at 12 p.m.