Bulls Roll Past Rockets in MAC Opener
The University at Buffalo men's tennis team won its fifth straight match and Mid-American Conference opener on Saturday afternoon with a 6-1 victory over visiting Toledo at the Miller Tennis Center. The Bulls are now 6-7 (1-0 MAC) as they head into an important home weekend.
Doubles Teams Get the Point
UB won the all-important doubles point to open the match by taking the number two and three matches. The Bulls clinched the point with a rally in the number three contest as Alex Kalinin and Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik took the final three games for the 8-6 victory over Grant Adams and Bryant Dudzik. In the number two contest, Wojciech Starakiewicz and Travis Zappia downed Terence Weigand and Nicholas Wong, 8-2. The two wins for the Bulls gave each duo seven victories for the season with Starakiewicz and Zappia remaining undefeated in dual play at 5-0. Damien David and Vusa Hove suffered their first dual loss in the number one match with an 8-5 decision to Toledo's Leo Sarria and Tomas Stillman. David and Hove are 4-1 at first doubles and 6-2 overall this season.
Singles Wins Five of Six
In singles play, the Bulls rolled to the next five victories to claim the match. Ivan Vereshchaga gave the Bulls a 2-0 edge with his straight sets win over Adams, 6-1, 6-3, in the number four contest. Starakiewicz, at number three, pushed the advantage to 3-0 with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Wong. The match was clinched when David, at first singles, won his 19th singles match of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 conquering of Stillman. Following the clincher, UB scored wins from Kalinin at number five with a 6-3, 6-3 decision over Weigand and a three-set victory from Hove over Sarria, at number two, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. Toledo's Dudzik defeated Shkodnik in three sets, 4-6, 6-0, 6-3 in the final match to be completed for the 6-1 final score.
Broncos, Bearcats Come to Town
The Bulls conclude the home schedule this weekend with a pair of important matches. On Friday, April 6, UB hosts Mid-American Conference rival Western Michigan at 1:00 pm. Easter Sunday, the Bulls step out of conference to take on regional power Binghamton on Senior Day at 1:00 pm. The Broncos are 11-9 overall and 1-1 in MAC play after dropping a 4-3 match to Cleveland State last Friday. Six of their losses have come against teams ranked in the ITA national poll. The Bearcats are 7-11 and will face Western Michigan on Saturday prior to tangling with the Bulls. "This week will be a tremendous test for us," commented UB head coach Lee Nickell. "Western Michigan is a team that we have only beaten once in the history of our program. Binghamton has been the top team in the region in the past few years and ranked top 40 in the country. We will be working hard this week to keep our momentum going and confidence up for the tough weekend ahead."