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Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Bulls regain confidence in the North

Though the Florida weather was a nice change of pace for the men's tennis team, the stiff competition served as a wakeup call for the Bulls.
Buffalo (6-4) went 1-2 in three matches in Boca Raton, FL, falling to Florida Atlantic, beating Southern Illinois and losing to Troy.
It returned to the North with two matches left before heading into Mid-American Conference play. The Bulls knew this would be their last chance to get in-game practice before facing their MAC foes and took advantage of the opportunity as they defeated both Robert Morris and Duquesne.
"As conference play approaches, our main goal is to make the doubles play more solid[ly]," said head coach Lee Nickell. "The spring break trip was meant for us to play against really good competition outdoors. Now, it is on us to prove ourselves."


Robert Morris
The men's tennis team had to rebound quickly on Thursday when it returned from a three-day event in Florida to take on Robert Morris at home.
The Bulls showed no signs of fatigue in their fourth match in five days when they beat the Colonials, 7-0, at the Miller Tennis Center.
Wasting no time, Buffalo stormed out in the match when the No. 1 doubles pairing of sophomore Wojciech Starakiewicz and senior Kirill Kolomyts shut down their competition.
The duo is ranked 10th in the Northeast Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and they showed why against Robert Morris team David Pinto and Igor Neves. The Bulls won the doubles point 8-0 to give the team a confidence boost early in the match.
In their first pairing of the spring, junior Mitch Zenaty and senior Eric Rothstein clinched a point by defeating the Colonial pair of Grigory Sovko and Andre Coiro, 8-1.
Once Buffalo clinched the doubles point in the No. 3 doubles spot, the No. 2 match was stopped as the Bulls led 5-3.
Starakiewicz continued to impress when he took the court for his singles match as the sophomore downed Sovko in just over a half hour.
"[Starakiewicz] stepped up after the road trip and said, ‘I want to play,'" Nickell said in a press release. "The rest of the team followed his lead."
The Bulls sent out junior Marcelo Mazzetto and Kolomyts in singles action to secure the victory for Buffalo as both men notched 6-0 wins to clinch the match.
The Bulls mixed up the bottom half of their lineup to give others a chance to compete at a higher seed. Nickell moved freshman Vusa Hove to the No. 4 singles spot and sophomore Kristof Custers was placed in the No. 6 spot. Sophomore Alex Kalinin stayed at his original place in the No. 5 position.
Even with the changes by Nickell, all three men won in straight sets. Starakiewicz, Mazzetto and Kalinin are all tied with 11 singles wins, which are tops on the team this season.
"I didn't do us any favors by scheduling this match," Nickell said. " Our team stepped up big after just having a match in Florida in the last 24 hours. I was very pleased."

Duquesne
Two days off served the men's tennis team well, as they were able to take fresh legs into their Saturday contest in Monroeville, Pa.
The Bulls won their second straight match, 6-1, over Duquesne (7-7) in their last match before the start of Mid-American Conference play.
Starakiewicz and Kolomyts shone once again when they disposed of Duquesne's duo of Steve Herchko and Mark Maciuch, 8-3. The Bulls, however, would lose their other two doubles matches to give the opening point to Duquesne.
After losing the point in doubles competition, it appeared as though the Bulls were headed for a disappointing end to their spring break.
Buffalo responded, however, winning all six singles matches on the day.
The play of Starakiewicz and Kolomyts continued to carry the Bulls after the two picked up victories in their singles matches in straight sets. Starakiewicz, the No. 3 ranked singles player in the Northeast, defeated Duquesne senior Jeremy McClelland 6-3, 6-4, in the No. 1 position.
Kolomyts defeated sophomore Aram Abgaryan 6-4, 7-5 after an intense second set. Freshman George Tibil and Kalinin each won in straight sets as well.
Mazzetto defeated Duquesne's senior Gustavo Villares 6-2, 2-6, 6-2. Freshman Vusa Hove also defeated Maciuch 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in his first start in the No. 5 spot all season.
With the victory, Buffalo snapped Duquesne's four-game winning streak and ended its travel-heavy spring break with a 3-2 record. The Bulls went 1-2 in Florida, before gaining victories against Robert Morris in Buffalo and in Saturday's match in Western Pennsylvania.
Nickell acknowledged the importance of this spring break campaign for Buffalo.
"This has been a good spring break for us," Nickell said. "We learned a lot and fought through adversity today against a good Duquesne team. We came out flat in doubles, but came together in singles to give a complete team effort. We are very excited to start conference match play in two weeks."
Buffalo will rest up before starting conference play on Saturday, March 27 against Toledo (7-9).

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com


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