Bulls Clinch Third Win Pair of MAC Wins
The University at Buffalo men's tennis team clinched the third seed for this week's Mid-American Conference Tournament following Sunday's 6-1 win over Northern Illinois at the Miller Tennis Center. The Bulls (11-7, 3-2 MAC) have now won five in a row as they head into the league championships. UB started the week with a 4-3 win over Ball State on Friday.
Hove Reaches 20 Wins
Sophomore Vusa Hove scored a pair of singles wins over the weekend to reach the 20-victory plateau for the first time in his career. Playing second singles, Hove jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set against Ball State's Cliff Morrison on Friday before his opponent rallied to tie the set at 5-5. Hove then won the next eight games for the 7-5, 6-0 decision. On Sunday, Hove needed to win a super-tiebreaker to score win number 20 as he downed Axel Lagerlof, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8). Hove is 20-11 in singles play, including four straight victories.
Seniors Step It Up
Playing in their final home match on Sunday, the senior twosome of Mitch Zenaty and Marcelo Mazzetto made quick work of their singles opponents. Zenaty, at number six, stepped in to replace Alex Kalinin, who was scratched prior to singles play and defeated Tyler Stephens, 6-2, 6-0, for the second point. Mazzetto then downed Maksym Lagutin, 6-1, 6-1, in the number four match to give the Bulls a 3-0 edge prior to Jason Simon clinching the win with a victory in the number five match. Zenaty and Mazzetto were also victorious on Sunday in doubles play as UB swept all three matches from the Huskies.
Good to See Ya, George
The UB homestand marked the return of sophomore George Tibil to the lineup after he was sidelined with an injury for two months. Tibil and Vusa Hove combined at third doubles to score victories in their contests against Ball State and Northern Illinois and remained undefeated a doubles duo at 6-0. Tibil also claimed a third-set super-tiebreaker win over NIU's Roman Turtygin, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-4) in singles play.
Gotta Love That Home Cooking
Since Lee Nickell became head coach two seasons ago, the Bulls are 10-1 when playing on their home courts. The Bulls went undefeated at home in 2011 with a 5-0 mark, including four indoor wins at the Miller Tennis Center. In 2010, UB's lone home defeat was to America East powerhouse Binghamton, 5-2, on April 4 in the final contest of home slate.
MAC Championships on Tap at Western Michigan
The Bulls are the third seed in the MAC Championships starting in Kalamazoo, MI on Thursday. UB will face sixth-seeded Chicago State in one quarterfinal while Northern Illinois and Ball State, UB's last two victories, meet in the other quarterfinal. If the Bulls advance past Chicago State, they would face number two Toledo while the winner of the other quarterfinal meets top seed Western Michigan. The championship match is Saturday.