The College started its season in dominant fashion in the Lions’ Fall Kickoff against rival New York University (NYU). The men did not drop a match during the two-day tournament. The women, not to be out-done, also dominated, finishing with a 20-7 record for the tournament.
“We’re pretty excited with where we’re at right now,” head coach Scott Dicheck said. “It’s a credit to (our team), we were more prepared right now and in better shape (than NYU). From the first week-and-a-half leading up to the tournament, we worked hard. It was a good start.”
NYU junior singles player Mikhael Gurevich, the men’s defending regional champion, was no match for the Lions’ top two singles players, junior Mike Klimchak and sophomore Roger Mosteller.
“They were excited about playing (Gurevich) and they both came out and pretty much dominated him from the beginning,” Dicheck said. “So, I know they left pretty satisfied with those victories.”
Klimchak won 6-0, 6-0, and Mosteller won 6-3, 6-2 in their respective singles matches.
“I felt great; all of the hard work and training these last two weeks have been worth it,” Klimchak said. “Beating Gurevich convincingly gives me a lot of confidence in the upcoming regional tournament.”
Klimchak and Mosteller should now receive high seeds in the upcoming regional tournament. They also will challenge each other this week to determine the No. 1 singles player for the College.
Freshman singles player Tamra Wroblesky was one Lion who was tested. She won her “flight C” singles match against Violets’ senior Katie Lee 3-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (10-8).
“I think it was the longest match I ever played – about three-and-a-half hours,” Wroblesky said.
Wroblesky rallied after being down 5-1 to force the third set, and then stole five match points from Lee. She did all of this while fighting back heat exhaustion.
“I hadn’t eaten in four hours, but I know that in a tennis match I never think I’m out of it,” Wroblesky said. “All I concentrate on is getting to every ball, pushing myself to get to the next point and never giving up.”
“To come back and save three or four match points and pull it out as a freshman in the first tournament is really a good sign,” Dicheck said. “We had a real talented recruiting class this year, and they all played very well this weekend. (They were) led by freshman Jackie Shtemberg in the A flight in singles and doubles.”
She defeated sophomore Stephanie Tu 6-1, 6-3 and senior Erika Olson 6-1, 6-1. Because of the Lions’ dominance, Dicheck was more concerned about the level of play from the Violets.
“We didn’t feel NYU came in like they normally do; they weren’t the team that we’re going to face come springtime,” Dicheck said. “I think that’s a credit to our guys (who) were more prepared right now and in better shape. So I think it really showed against them.”
The Kickoff with NYU is a two-day event for both the men and women’s teams, with four flights of singles A-D and two flights of doubles, with the top players in the A flight.
In other men’s A flight singles matches, Klimchak defeated sophomore Calvin Chou 3-0, retired and Mosteller defeated Chou 6-4, 6-0. As a doubles team, they defeated sophomore Brett Levin and Gurevich 8-0 as well as Chou and sophomore Craig Berger 8-3. The other Lions’ A flight doubles team, senior Corey Ball and junior Eric Ferriere, won 8-3 and 8-5 in their matches.
On the women’s side, the doubles team of Shtemberg and junior Christina Contrafatto won twice, defeating Lee and sophomore Stephanie Tu 8-0 and senior Erika Olson with junior Hayley Mclaughlin 8-2. Sophomore Haley Kutner won her singles matches in A flight, defeating Olson 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 and Tu 6-4, 6-2.
Next on the schedule for the women’s team is a match against Rutgers University-Newark on Sept. 13, followed by the University of Delaware Tournament Sept. 15-17. The men’s team will play in the Swarthmore College Invitational Sept. 16-17.