One week after the women came back victorious, UR?s men?s tennis team didn?t disappoint at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association?s Northeast Regional Championship Sept. 29 and 30.

Doubles partners and sophomores Colin Ryan and Dan Williford brought home the gold for UR.

However, it wasn?t an easy ride in a tournament filled with the region?s best.

UR sent five solid players on the roadtrip to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Ryan led the Yellow-jackets in the singles play, advancing to the quarterfinals.

Senior Ko Kiuchi, sophomore Nithin Raikar and freshman Brian Shenker all fell to tough seeded competition in the early rounds.

Shenker dropped to second-seeded Marc Hill of the College of New Jersey 6-2, 6-1, while his teammate, 10th seeded Brian Hanley, defeated Raikar 8-5.

Ryan and Williford had fantastic starts. Both plowed through the first three rounds with ease, defeating competition in straight sets.

However, signs of mental fatigue began to emerge as the two advanced to quarterfinal play.

Ryan dropped to New York University?s second-seeded Mike Thompson in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4. Williford didn?t have much more luck with Thompson?s doubles partner Demetris Leontis, falling 6-3, 6-4.

But the tournament was not yet over. On Sunday, Ryan and Williford headed for the doubles-play with renewed spirit.

The duo defeated opponents in the first two rounds, dropping only three games.

In the quarterfinals, it was a sweet revenge.

Ryan and Williford greeted Thompson and Leontis with a confident 8-5 defeat, a true rebound from their singles losses.

The comeback match-up boosted the Yellowjackets to go on to the championship victory against Hill and his College of New Jersey partner Rob Howland, 8-3.

The ITA crown qualified Ryan and Williford for the ITA National Championships scheduled for late October in Texas.

Ryan hopes to add to the victory. ?As a team, I think we performed reasonably well in both singles and doubles,? Ryan said. ?However, there is much room for improvement. We were definitely not at the tops of our games.?

?We are definitely trying to improve the focus of the team,? he added.

?We have a lot of young players that want to win, so we are trying to take their positive energy and make the best of the talent that is on the team.?

Wu can be reached at jwu@campustimes.org.



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