BUFFALO, NY – For the first time in school history, the University at Buffalo men's tennis team defeated four-time defending Mid-American Conference champion Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon at the University Tennis Center. A third-set victory at fifth singles propelled the Bulls to a 4-3 win over the Broncos, ranked 74th in the country by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Freshman Vusa Hove scored the winning point in the number five singles match as he rallied from a set down to defeat Casey Cullen, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
The Bulls (9-4, 2-0 MAC) captured the doubles point with a 7-3 tiebreaker win in the number one match as Kirill Kolomyts and Marcelo Mazzetto defeated WMU's brother combo of Thomas and Michael Calderone. UB's number two team of Wojciech Starakiewicz and Tibil also scored a win for the Bulls with an 8-4 victory over Kazuya Komada and Zevad Montasser.
"This was intense," said UB head coach Lee Nickell. "In terms of college matches, this had everything, lead changes, momentum swings and for us to come out on top is a major step for the team. I'm very proud of the way we battled out there and am happy for our seniors Kirill Kolomyts and Eric Rothstein."
Not only was the UB win a first for the Bulls in 15 previous meetings with the Broncos it also marked the first time since 2006 that Western Michigan had been defeated in Mid-American Conference play. UB also extended its winning streak to five matches and remained perfect at home, winning all five contests in Buffalo.
The Bulls return to the University Tennis Center on Easter Sunday for a nonleague contest with regional rival Binghamton at 3:30 pm.
Buffalo 4, No. 74 Western Michigan 3
1 Kirill Kolomyts/Marcelo Mazzetto (UB) d. Thomas Calderone/Michael Calderone (WMU), 9-8 (3)
2 Wojciech Starakiewicz/George Tibil (UB) d. Kazuya Komada/Zevad Montasser (WMU), 8-4
3 Casey Cullen/Pablo Olivarez (WMU) d. Vusa Hove/Mitch Zenaty (UB), 8-6
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
1 Kazuya Komada (WMU) d. Wojciech Starakiewicz (UB), 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
2 Michael Calderone (WMU) d. Marcelo Mazzetto (UB), 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-1
3 Pablo Olivarez (WMU) d. Kirill Kolomyts (UB), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
4 George Tibil (UB) d. Simon Blomberg (WMU), 6-3, 7-5
5 Vusa Hove (UB) d. Casey Cullen (WMU), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5
6 Alex Kalinin (UB) d. Brad Noel (WMU), 6-0, 6-3
Order of finish: 6, 4, 2, 1, 3, 5