Duo drops in the finals

Senior Jeremy Eckardt and sophomore T.J. Riley fell in the finals. (Photo Courtesy of Sports Desk)

Four days of matches is undoubtedly stressful for a team, but the Lions persevered and made it through to the end. Despite the outcome, the men’s tennis team proved their abilities this past weekend in the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championships at Skidmore College. Doubles partners senior Jeremy Eckardt and sophomore T.J. Riley fell in their finals matches on Monday Oct. 4, taking a well-earned second place for the College.

“It was disappointing being a senior and knowing it could be my last chance at All American,” Eckardt said. “It was one of the toughest torunaments I’ve played in the last five years I’ve been here. Our region is strong.”

No. 4-seeded Eckardt fell in the semi-finals of the singles tournament 7-6 and 6-0 to No. 2-seeded Ben Guzick of Vasser College. Overall Eckardt finished four out of five wins in the singles bracket.

“My biggest concern was just being able to make it through the tournament physically,” Eckardt said.

Riley joined Eckardt in the doubles finals ready to take on senior Spencer Cheng and freshman Jimmy Sherpa of host Skidmore College. Earlier in the tournament, senior captain Jonathan Yu defeated Cheng 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7-4). But in the finals Cheng and Sherpa pulled through for the win over the Lions in two sets, 6-4, 6-3.

“I thought our doubles teams would all get a lot further,” Riley said. “But no matter what, our teammates have stayed and supported Jeremy and me.”

The Lions all started off strong, defeating athletes from Drew University, Stevens Institute of Technology, Ithaca College, New York University, Hamilton College, St. Lawrence University and the host school Skidmore College.

The tournament consisted of a total of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams.

“I figured everyone in the lineup had a chance to go deep in the tournament, especially in the doubles since that is usually the team’s strength,” Eckardt said.

Hilarey Wojtowicz can be reached at wojtowi3@tcnj.edu.