Fall match sets standards for spring season

The men’s tennis team had an almost perfect run at Stevens Institute of Technology’s Doubles Invitational on Sept. 11. The Lions only lost one match, ending the day 17-1 against teams from Stevens and New York University. Of the seven teams that competed, six had perfect records.

Senior Jeremy Eckhardt and Sophomore TJ Riley won all three of their matches, their best performance being an 8-3 triumph over Jason Ringstad and Lopburi Sasinin. Senior co-captain Jonathan Yu and sophomore partner Dean Thompson went 3-0, including a 9-8 (5-0) victory against the Bobcats’ Connor Witty and Raphael Namias. Junior co-captain Bill Carrig and fellow junior Dan Lee also went 3-0, shutting out Jason Sacher/Tim Wu from NYU 8-0.

“The matches in the fall are definitely important as far as getting the team ready for the school year and set up a great spring campaign,” Carrig said. “The fall allows us as a team to see where we need to make improvements for the season.”

Junior co-captain Steven Fernandez teamed up with freshman Howard Telson in the tournament, completing their own 8-0 shutout against NYU’s Boris Aldanmaz and Alex Topchishvili. Telson is one of four freshman entering the program, creating an even spread of talent among the four classes here at the College. Another is Kacey Carrig, Bill’s younger brother, who already feels comfortable with the team.

“My brother has been playing tennis here for two years already and I have come out to a lot of matches so to finally be in the Lion uniform and to play for the team was such an awesome feeling,” Kacey said.

He and junior Stewart Fernandez paired up to win their two matches against duos from NYU. They defeated Vikram Nayar and Daniel Huang 8-2 as well as Vivek Nayar and Steven Wu 8-1.

“Stew and I have known each other for a while before I got to (the College) so I have practiced with him before. Our games actually compliment each other’s very well and I feel that we make a very strong doubles team. He is an extremely smart player and every time we step on the court he teaches me something new. I respect him as a player a lot and it’s great for a newcomer like me to be paired with someone who’s willing to help improve my game.”

Bringing home two more victories was the team of sophomore Jordan Cruz and freshman Sean Lu, an 8-4 win over Nayar and Huang being their best finish. Nayar and Huang were the only team to beat the Lions at the tournament, defeating the freshman combo of Ricky Pelica and Gurkirat Kohli 8-4. Pelica and Kohli broke even for the day, defeating Nayar and Wu 9-7.

While this is just their offseason, the men’s tennis team still has a busy schedule. Their next tournament is a weekend-long matchup with Kutz town starting on Sept. 25.