The men’s tennis team picked right up where their 2011-2012 season ended, by taking on three in-state NCAA Division I teams in the New Jersey Invitational and picking up three victories. The team was highly successful, winning 22 of a possible 25 matches against the likes of Rider University, Monmouth University and St. Peter’s College. The Lions’ play last season has set the team up for even greater goals this season.
“The team’s expectations for the fall are to really get into a comfortable position with each other,” senior T. J. Riley said. “We want to be playing at a high level so that when the spring comes along, we are prepared to make a deep run into the NCAA tournament.”
The Lions dominated the court, winning all 13 matches against Rider, and winning nine matches out of a possible 12 against Monmouth and St. Peter’s combined. As a team, the singles circuit went 13-2, further showing why Lions’ tennis is one of the best in the region. Junior Gabe Allen, freshman Billy Buchbinder, freshman Pierce Cooper and freshman Dan Presuto all picked up four victories in the invitational.
“It seemed as though everyone played very well in both singles and doubles,” senior Jordan Cruz said. “We were all playing aggressive when necessary and making some great plays.”
The doubles competitors played just as well as the singles competitors by hammering clutch serves and difficult backhands. The doubles pairings won a total of nine matches and dropped only one. The two pairings of junior Howard Telson and Cooper, and Buchbinder and Cruz led the Lions by going a perfect 3-0 during the tournament.
“The singles matches went well because everyone did their jobs and got done what they needed to get done, which was also the case in the doubles that followed,” Riley said. “We all worked very hard to push each other and make each other better so that we can compete at the highest level possible.”
After starting the season well, the Lions will further measure their talents against Stevens Institute of Technology and New York University on Sept. 14 when they play host to the Lions’ Kickoff Tournament.