Streaking Lions shut down by No.4 Bobcats

The College’s men’s tennis team was recognized this past Friday in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) regional men’s tennis poll when they received a No. 8 ranking in the Northeast.

Individuals on the team also received nods from the ITA poll. In first doubles, sophomore co-captain Ryan Carty and sophomore Corey Ball earned a No. 2 rank in the Northeast. The duo is now 18-2 on the season together.

In addition, Carty is now ranked No. 10 regionally after being ranked No. 18 in the preseason.

Carty is now 9-2 in first singles dual match competition and 11-1 in tournament play for the season, raising his career record to 26-12.

“We were very excited about the rankings because we felt like we earned it based on what we’ve done so far this season,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “Hopefully we can move up in the standings as the rest of the season continues.”

On Sunday, the Lions responded to their new ranking with a dominating victory over Skidmore College, 5-2. The victory was the Lions’ 11th straight. That streak was snapped on Monday with a 4-3 loss to Bates College. The Lions are now 11-2.

In Monday’s 4-3 loss to Bates, ranked No. 4 in the Northeast, Carty and Ball lost first singles 8-4 to junior William Boe-Wiegaard and senior Sam Duvall. It was the third doubles loss of the year for Carty and Ball.

The Bobcats swept doubles play from the Lions and split singles play to take the win.

Carty also suffered a first singles loss in three sets to Boe-Wiegaard, who is ranked No. 48 in Division III singles. Ball picked up a two-set win in fifth singles over Duvall.

Freshmen Eric Ferriere and Michael Klimchak accounted for the Lions’ other victories in singles play.

Against Skidmore, action began in doubles play as the Lions won two out of the three matches for the point. In first doubles, Carty and Ball fell to senior Russell Cloder and junior Greg Sher 8-5. It was only the second loss of the season for the Lions’ tandem.

In second doubles, junior co-captain Justin Cook and freshman Michael Klimchak of the College defeated sophomore Alex Iselin and junior Stephen Hibino 8-3. Lions’ senior Ken Tsui and freshman Eric Ferriere then beat sophomores Greg Rodiloso and Jack Martin 8-4 in third doubles for the team point.

In singles play, Cloder overcame Carty 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in first singles. Carty began to cramp up during the third set but still played the remainder of the match.

Cook then lost to Sher in second singles 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 in a back-and-forth match. In third singles, the Lions regained their momentum as Klimchak trounced Iselin 6-0, 6-2. Ferriere continued the trend at fourth singles to defeat Hibino 6-1, 6-4.

The match generated some hostility when some Lions were upset over the behavior of Skidmore’s coach.

“Skidmore’s coach was being pretty arrogant and belligerent,” Lions’ freshman Sonnie Pollosco said. “There was some tension between the coaches over some matches we’ve had between each other in the past few years because of their coach’s behavior.”

Women’s tennis came away with a huge shutout win against rival Skidmore, 9-0. The Lions now stand at 13-3 on the year while the Thoroughbreds fall to 6-7.

Play began in doubles as the College took all three matches away from Skidmore. In first doubles, freshman Christina Contrafatto and junior captain Jackie Gavornik were down 4-7 but won five straight games to defeat senior Whitney Dolan and sophomore Gabrielle Rosenthal 9-7.

Sophomore Kristen Turturiello and senior Katie D’Amato vanquished freshmen Jennifer Grabler and Kyra Travis 8-1 in second doubles. The pair is now 11-2 in dual match doubles play.

Sophomores Karen Shih and Ayumi Yamazaki then crushed sophomores Taylor Parrott and Emily Sharpe 8-1 in third doubles. The duo is now 12-1 on the year in dual matches.

In singles play, Contrafatto started out the Lions with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Dolan in first singles. In second singles, Turturiello came from behind to beat Rosenthal 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. Then, Yamazaki grabbed the third singles win against Grabler 6-3, 6-0. Yamazaki is now 14-1 in dual singles action this season.

In fourth singles D’Amato captured the victory against freshman Kate Hugo 6-1, 6-1. Gavornik then clobbered Parrott 6-1, 6-0 for the fifth singles win. Shih rounded out the match at sixth singles to defeat Travis 6-2, 6-4.

“We were all excited to win (against Skidmore), especially since it was a shutout,” Contrafatto said. “Some of us were down and able to fight for a win and some of us were on our games. We have one more match but it is definitely a good way to end the season.

Men’s tennis will visit Drew University in their next match on April 20. Women’s tennis will host the University of Rochester on April 23 and the men will also face Rochester at home on April 24.