Gavornik lifts Lions to tight victory

Senior captain Jackie Gavornik won the final match in fourth singles against the Herons of William Smith College to seal a 5-4 victory for the Lions on Sunday.

After capturing the first set, Gavornik was leading 5-4 when sophomore Cory Turner rallied to steal the second set from Gavornik, beating her 12-10 in the tiebreaker. The action stayed intense in the third, as Gavornik edged out Turner 6-4 for the win. This tallies Gavornik’s 54th career singles win.

Named New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Year at the end of the Fall 2005 season, freshman Haley Kutner continued her impressive year by recording a crucial win for the Lions as she defeated sophomore Tara Ware 6-4, 7-6 (12-10).

Junior Kristen Turturiello completed the only shutout of the match as she dominated junior Meghan Kelley in third singles 6-3, 6-0. She joined Kutner in second doubles to annihilate sophomore Katie Campbell and Turner 8-0.

Gavornik also took home a win in first doubles with sophomore Christina Contrafatto. Regionally ranked at No. 11, the tandem took down freshman Chelsea Rauck and Ware 8-4.

“We had our ups and downs but we came through the rough parts and were able to give each other energy,” Contrafatto said.

In first singles, Contrafatto, ranked No. 5 regionally, and Rauck, ranked No. 6, endured a rematch of last season’s Intercollegiate Tennis Association Northeast Championship, where Contrafatto came out the victor. This time around, the match showed Rauck overcoming Contrafatto 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

“It was exciting; we were both looking for a hard match,” Contrafatto said. “She came out on top today, but there were no points that I can think back on and wish they went differently.”

The Lions also grabbed a 7-2 win from the Yellow Jackets of the University of Rochester to extend their streak to 12 consecutive matches.

Currently ranked No. 32 regionally, with a 3-2 record on the season, the men’s team split its matches this week as it suffered a 4-3 loss to the Yellow Jackets, a key opponent for the Lions this year, but bounced back for a 7-0 win over Hobart College.

“The victory over Hobart shows that we are still fighting hard for our spot at Nationals,” sophomore Mike Klimchak said.

Sophomore Eric Ferriere triumphantly returned from the road trip as the only double-winner in both matches.

Sunday against Hobart, Ferriere defeated junior Ronny Koenig 6-1, 6-1 in fifth singles and then collaborated with freshman Will Daly in third doubles for an 8-3 victory over sophomore Nick Raho and senior Matt Jacobus.

Klimchak was also a double-winner against Hobart as he took down senior Adam Raffa in second singles 6-1, 6-2. Klimchak then partnered up with freshman Roger Mosteller to overpower Hobart’s second doubles team 8-2. Klimchak is ranked No. 21 regionally

“I think it is going to be tougher for us to reach Nationals than we thought because of our two tough losses, but it is still within reach,” Klimchak said. “(With) the amount of talent, competitiveness and drive that our team has, I feel that we can reach our goal.”

Senior captain Ryan Carty, regionally ranked No. 8, had the only close match of the day in the win against Hobart as he snuck by freshman James Micheroni with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) victory.

The Lady Lions’ next match will take place in Madison, N.J. against Drew University today. Both the women’s and men’s team will then have a home stand on April 1-2 against Skidmore College and Johns Hopkins University.