Men on two-game skid, women defeat Swarthmore

The men’s and women’s tennis teams had mixed success during this week’s matches. The men faced Drew University, Stevens Institute of Technology and Swarthmore College, while the women also went up against Swarthmore.

The men’s team regained its form with an 8-1 win over Drew at home. Once again, they went 3-for-3 in doubles. Senior Jeremy Eckardt and junior TJ Riley pulled off a close 9-7 match over junior Elliot Smego and sophomore Raul Smego to start the day. Eckardt faced Raul Smego once more in singles, defeating him in identical 6-3 sets.

There was a slight change-up in the usual squad as junior Steven Fernandez played doubles with sophomore Dean Thompson for the first time this season. Together they took down Matt Brisotti and senior Alex Belfiore 8-2. Also partnering for the first time were sophomore Jordan Cruz and freshman Howard Telson. They defeated sophomores Adam Gerber and Matt Imbo 8-2. Telson and Cruz also earned wins for the Lions in singles at the fifth and sixth spots respectively. Telson beat Elliot Smego 7-5, 6-1 and Cruz defeated Imbo 6-1, 6-0. Junior Stewart Fernandez, who is normally Telson’s doubles partner, played at fourth singles to take down Gerber 6-3, 7-5.

“Howard and I played really well together, especially speaking that I’m 6 foot 6 inches and he’s 6 foot 3 inches,” Cruz said. “We are most likely a very intimidating duo. Together we played well and got the win.”

Saturday’s loss to Stevens was very close, as the Ducks’ two wins in doubles early on proved to be decisive. Stewart Fernandez and Telson teamed up once more, moving the Lions into singles matches down 2-1. They defeated senior Jay Lee and Lopburi Sasinin 9-8 (7-5). Telson would go on to beat Lee in fifth singles in identical 6-1 sets.

Steven Fernandez played both doubles and singles for the first time this spring season, losing in doubles but earning a match point in singles against Arik Zeevy (7-5, 6-0). The fourth and final point was earned by Cruz, who rallied in the third set to defeat Sasinin 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

The men also dropped a close match to Swarthmore, losing by a score of 5-4.

“Our season got off to a great start but after a couple injuries, illnesses and tough matches we have hit a bit of a bump,” Telson said. “I feel that the team has a lot of talent and that we will be a very dangerous team when nationals come and were back to full health and better form.”

The women’s side took on Swarthmore, winning their fourth match in five games. Top players sophomores Karisse Bendijo and Allison Tierney combined for three of the Lions’ six points in their 6-3 win on Sunday. The pair defeated Emily Rosenblum and Rosie DuBrin 8-2.

Tierney played DuBrin in third singles and defeated her in two 6-1 sets. Bendijo defeated Lia Carlson in first singles 6-2, 6-3. Second singles junior Felice Trinh rallied in the third set to beat Rosenblum 6-2, 3-6, 6-0.

Sophomore Lauren Balsamo earned the final singles point against Katie Samuelson 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.