The season of firsts
The men's tennis team continued its winning ways at the Miller Tennis Center, blanking St. Bonaventure for its fourth-straight victory to keep its undefeated home campaign alive.
After an exhausting comeback victory against Toledo on Saturday, the Bulls (8-4, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) faced off head-to-head with the Bonnies (6-6) on Sunday afternoon. Noticing the team's fatigue from the day before, Buffalo's coaching staff stepped up to give its athletes a bit of a spark.
"From having such an exciting match the day before against Toledo, there was a good chance we were going to come out flat," said head coach Lee Nickell. "It was vital to make sure that the coaching staff was loud and manufactured some energy to prevent this from happening. Luckily our guys came through and had great energy."
The Bulls started off the match on the right foot and didn't look back. Buffalo took the early command by declaring the doubles points in less than an hour of play.
Buffalo's first doubles duo of senior Kirill Kolomyts and junior Marcelo Mazzetto cruised to an 8-1 victory against the Bonnies' Christ Post and Diego Valdenegro. The Bulls' No. 3 doubles team of freshman Vusa Hove and junior Mitch Zenaty also picked up a victory in doubles competition over St. Bonaventure's Oscar Yanez and Luis Guevara, 8-4.
Sophomore Wojciech Starakiewicz and freshman George Tibil found themselves in a back-and-forth matchup against Enric Larregola and Mikhail Sudakov, but prevailed to clinch the doubles point with an 8-5 decision.
Buffalo continued to overwhelm the Bonnies in singles play, winning all six matches on the afternoon
Playing out of the No. 2 singles spot, Mazzetto clinched the victory for Buffalo with a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory over Larregola. Mazzetto made quick work of Larregola in the first set before Larregola came alive in the second set. Down 4-1 in the tiebreaker, Mazzetto rallied back to take six straight points to clinch the victory for Buffalo.
The five other singles matches went off without a hitch for Buffalo.
Competing out of the No. 5 slot, Hove blanked the Bonnies' Juan Garcia, 6-0, 6-0. Alex Kalinin retired Luis Guevara, 6-3, 6-2, while Starakiewicz needed three sets to defeat Valdenegro, 6-0,4-6, 6-1, in his first match at the No. 1 slot. Kolomyts and Tibil each won their matches in straight sets over their opponents as well.
Sunday marked Buffalo's first win over St. Bonaventure since the 2006 campaign.
The Bulls look to keep their undefeated home record in tact as they host defending MAC champion, Western Michigan, on Saturday at 3 p.m.
"We have never beaten Western Michigan in [the] history of our program. This is obviously something we are looking forward," Nickell said. "We have them at home and [look forward] to see what's going to happen."