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Monday, June 17, 2024
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Bulls begin title defense

After capturing the Mid-American Conference regular season crown last season, the men's tennis team started the 2010-11 season right where it left off.

The Bulls opened at the Farnsworth/Princeton Tournament and seemed to have carried their momentum from last season.

Sophomore Vusa Hove won the flight D title against his teammate, junior Alex Kalinin, in straight sets (6-4, 6-3). They later teamed up to take the C flight doubles title at 8-5.

Additionally, Buffalo entered six singles players and three doubles tandems in the flighted tournament.

On the opening day of the tournament, the Bulls had the upper hand in all of the singles flights. Buffalo scored seven wins, five of which came in singles matches. The other two victories came in the doubles matches.

"We were pretty happy with our start on the first day and we had a couple of strong finishes in our matches," said assistant coach Jordie Kindervater. "It was encouraging to be able to overcome some adversity and win."

However, the level of competition rose in the later flights.

In the A flight singles, junior Wojciech Starakiewicz defeated Yale's Daniel Hoffman in straight sets (7-6(2), 6-3) to score an opening round win for the Bulls. He dropped his match on day two against Penn State's Bryan Welnetz in a three set, quarterfinal matchup, (7-6 (7), 5-7, 6-3). He then fell to Princeton's Matija Pecotic in the consolation match 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Sophomore George Tibil topped Columbia's Rajeev Deb Sen in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) in the B flight singles match. He seemed to generate some momentum by defeating Princeton's Alex Faust in his Saturday quarterfinal match (6-4, 2-6, 7-5) but dropped his semifinal match against Penn State's Russell Bader in straight sets (6-3, 6-3).

Senior Marcelo Mazzetto beat Columbia's John Yetimoglu in three sets (6-4, 1-6, 7-5) in the C flight opening singles round. But the excitement was short-lived as he was beaten by Princeton's Coleman Crutchfield (6-4, 6-3) in the semifinal.

The Bulls had three players compete in the D flight singles bracket, and two of them had success on the opening day. Hove defeated Yuri Gricheno of Farleigh Dickinson (6-2, 6-1) and Kalinin upset the No. 2 seed in the bracket, Penn State's Chris Hasyn, in three sets (7-5, 5-7, 6-4). Meanwhile, senior Mitch Zenaty dropped his first round match to Pennsylvania's Zach Gorn 6-0, 6-1.

Both Hove and Kalinin advanced to the finals to set up a matchup of two Bulls teammates. However, the two qualified as a pair for the flight C doubles championship, causing the flight D final to be postponed to a later date.

Hove and Kalinin settled their D flight finals matchup on Tuesday in Buffalo as Hove swept his teammate 6-4, 6-3.

The Bulls really excelled in the doubles bracket.

In the doubles B flight bracket, the duo of Mazetto and Zenaty advanced through the opening round and quarterfinals with ease. But top seeded Yohei Shoji and Alex Faust of Princeton eliminated the duo of Bulls by a score of 8-5.

The team of Hove and Kalinin captured the C flight doubles title on Sunday by defeating the Yale team of Zach Dean and Tommy Ratchford, 8-5.

"It's all about getting better and this was a starting point leading up towards the spring," Kindervater said. "We are kind of happy where we stand right now, but we do feel like we have a long way to go."

After a break, the Bulls will compete in the D'Novo All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla. on Oct. 2.


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