Coach wins 100th match

The men’s and women’s tennis teams came out on top as they each picked up wins this past Saturday. Head coach Scott Dicheck earned his 99th and 100th career wins when the men’s and women’s teams defeated Ithaca College.

Once again, the College’s doubles teams seemed to be the strength of the program, as a 3-0 start to the match propelled the Lions to victory. The Bombers would only score a combined five points against the three tandems. Sophomore Karisse Bendijo and sophomore Allison Tierney led the Lions, opening with an 8-2 victory over Cristina and Melissa Nunez.

The pair would also rack up individual points against the two respectively, as Bendijo won 6-1, 2-6, 10-7 and Tierney won 6-1, 6-0. Sophomores Lauren Balsamo and Paige Aiello took down Melanie Cohen and Becky Campbell 8-1.

Rounding out the doubles were juniors Emily Petersack and Felice Trinh, who defeated Kelsey Harness and Laurel Salladay 8-2.

“We’re able to overcome any struggles, like with the match against Swarthmore (last week),” Trinh said. “There were some struggling moments but we were all able to pull through as a team.”

In other singles action, Petersack completely shut out Campbell in two 6-0 sets. Balsamo dominated against Salladay 6-0, 6-2. Aiello came close to another shutout for the Lions in her 6-0, 6-1 rout of Harness, and Trinh earned a worthy point against Cohen 6-2, 6-0.

“The season is ending real soon, but with the last few matches, I hope we continue to excel with the same positive attitude that will put us in a better position for spring nationals,” Trinh said.

The men’s team started the match off by claiming all three doubles points, a common trend in its victories this season. Junior Stewart Fernandez reunited with freshman Howard Telson to beat Dan Levine and Les Bowden 8-2. Brother Steven Fernandez remained in doubles this week with sophomore Dean Thompson to take down sophomore Josh Berggrun and freshman David Andersen 8-4. And the constant duo of senior Jeremy Eckhardt and sophomore TJ Riley defeated Josh Rifkin and Jimmy Newton in a close 9-8 (7-5) win. Recently, the pair was named 11th in the region.

“Jeremy and I got off to a quick start and really amped up our intensity to beat the All-American team,” Riley said.

In singles play, junior Steven Fernandez edged out Newton 7-5, 6-4. Senior Jon Yu returned to the lineup to defeat Berggrun 6-1, 7-6 (7-4). Riley continued an impressive day with a fourth singles victory over Griffin Reid 6-1, 6-2. In fifth singles, Stewart Fernandez fought hard to defeat Andersen 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 10-7. The final point of the day was earned by sophomore Jordan Cruz’s win over Steve Ochs 6-0, 6-2.

“Everyone fought hard,” Riley said. “They were all good matches, but we were the team that wanted it more and that’s why we won.”

The women’s team will go up against Muhlenburg College at home on Wednesday, April 20, while the men will have the week off.