Most people are not prone to going out on a cold, windy day, let alone doing any physical activity on those days. However, the men’s tennis team is a different story. Despite unfavorable weather, the team spent their weekend with one goal on their mind – crush their opponents. The team played at the Flower City Invitational, facing teams from Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University and neighboring Rochester Institute of Technology. The Yellowjackets swept all three teams in that order on their home court at UR. The team played well this weekend, especially coming back from individual losses in the Middlebury Invitational. Freshmen Thanos Kantarelis and Eric Hansen played remarkably well in both doubles and singles matches. They teamed up to easily defeat Ithaca College 8-1. Both players also won all their singles matches. Kantarelis and Hansen faced a tough second doubles match against SLU. After the fifth game, they were down 1-4. They quickly came back by winning five straight games, eventually going on to win 9-7. Kantarelis had a strong service game, as it was throughout the tournament, of 110 to 120 miles per hour to help ignite the comeback. Hansen picked up the pace by hitting effective returns, breaking a few of SLU’s service games. “I served very well this weekend, which enabled me to win a very high percentage of my service games very easily,” Kantarelis said. Two of the top players, seniors Avinash Reddy and Partha Bhattacharya, also played a stellar performance. As the first doubles team, they defeated Ithaca 8-5, SLU 8-5 and RIT 8-3. They took advantage of the teams’ weaknesses despite the serve power from SLU and RIT. “Playing a lot of practice matches last week made me a lot sharper for the weekend and even when I wasn’t hitting the ball well I managed to grind out points one way or another,” Bhattacharya said.”Coming off the tough competition from last week, this week wasn’t really all that challenging,” Reddy said. “The most important thing I felt was that we needed to remain focused and play smart, which we did.” Bhattacharya dominated his singles matches as well. He crushed his first opponent 6-1, 6-1, waxed his second opponent 6-2, 6-1 and spanked his third foe 6-0, 6-3. He added variety in his game, from killer forehands to drop shots. Senior Brian Shenker played excellent tennis for the second consecutive weekend. Building from his confidence from last week, he won both of his singles matches. He continued his success with his partner, junior Eric Prince, by winning their matches against Ithaca 8-1 and SLU 8-2. “It feels good to go out and take care of business the way that we did,” Shenker said. Sophomore Josh Bruce-Black took care of business this weekend after getting into the singles Flight C semifinals last weekend. He defeated George Barbieri of SLU 6-1, 6-0. Although the team is playing at the top of their game, Bruce-Black believes that they still need to work harder. “It felt really good to sweep out opponents this weekend, but we still need to work hard and improve so that we can do well against tougher competition,” Bruce-Black said. The Yellowjackets hope to continue their winning streak after starting the season 3-0 as they go on a road trip to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Tournament that is being held this weekend at Vassar College.

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