The men’s tennis team blasted into the weekend to become the Flower City Invitational Champions. They dropped only one match out of 19 to grab the title.

The Yellowjackets dominated SUNY Oneonta in an easy 5-0 win. At No. 1 singles, sophomore Thanos Kantarelis defeated Eric Bratt, 6-3, 6-2.

At his first collegiate match, freshman Jeff Titcombe played at No. 2 singles and grabbed a proud win against Shawn Goodman with a final score of 6-4, 6-3. Sophomore Eric Hansen and senior Josh Bruce-Black pleased the fans with authoritative wins against Ryan Pettas and Matt Dietch, respectively.

With no surprise, UR ran over Oneonta’s doubles play as well, winning two of three matches to capture the sweep.

The men repeated their morning success in afternoon play against Ithaca College. At No. 3 singles, senior Eric Prince defeated Joe Young, 6-3, 6-2. Sophomore Aaron Gettinger got an emphatic win against Lyle Moran at No. 5 singles with a final score of 6-3, 6-3. Newcomer and junior John Park did short work on Zach Baum, crushing him at No. 6 singles in a 6-3, 6-1 win.

On the doubles front, the formidable duo of Hansen and Kantarelis played at No. 1 to defeat Chris Ciolino and Colin Flynn, 8-5. Gettinger and Titcombe played just as well, defeating Kento Kamiyama and Joe Young. Junior Michael Burger and senior Jay Acharya made their doubles debut together in an 8-3 win.

Prince applauded his team’s competitiveness. “Our team is so deep and playing amongst ourselves is a great practice for a tournament like this,” he said.

The Yellowjackets then went on to play at the championship on Sunday against St. Lawrence University. Kantarelis came out on top against Matt Dwyer, ranked No. 24 in singles play in the northeast region.

In his second singles appearance, Titcombe made it through a tight match against Jon Satkowski, playing three tiebreakers. The final score was 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 10-4.

Bruce-Black had no trouble against Neil Cutter, winning in 6-2, 6-3. Gettinger and Park had identical final scores, defeating their opponents, 6-1, 6-1.

“We are still riding high off of last year’s success,” Kantarelis said. “Opening the season at home in front of friends and family reminded us of last year, [which] enabled us to play with confidence.”

As they enter the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Championships next week, the team is confident it can build on this momentum.

“I think we are all very well prepared going into the ITAs next weekend,” Prince said.

The addition of four strong players adds to UR’s arsenal.

“With the addition of guys like John Park, the artist Mike Burger and the beast Jeff Titcombe, we will be extremely deep,” Kantarelis said.

“I think [the Flower City matches were] a good warm-up for the ITA’s because it [gave] the new kids on the team an opportunity to see what college tennis is like,” Bruce-Black added.

With confidence building up, the Yellowjackets have high prospects for a successful weekend at the ITAs. They hope to regain their singles and doubles titles they received last year.

Lee can be reached at alee@campustimes.org.



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