Returning from a promising start in the fall, the men’s tennis team hosted two home games, defeating both Vassar College and Le Moyne College with little trouble.

At No. 1 singles, sophomore Eric Hansen battled Erik Skartvedt from Vassar. Despite ranking at No. 23 in the Northeast singles bracket, Skartvedt was no match for Hansen. Hansen took advantage of his opponent’s low-percentage first serves and weak backhands and won 6-1, 6-1.

Sophomore Thanos Kantarelis also had a successful game at the No. 2 seat, rallying to defeat Ashish Patil 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Despite falling in the first set, Kantarelis picked up his play, making some great shots.

Seniors Eric Prince and Josh Bruce-Black nearly replicated Hansen’s performance. Prince played the No. 3 spot, defeating Jared Mayer 6-3, 6-2. Bruce-Black played a strong return game at the No. 4 spot, beating Jeremy Rosen 6-3, 6-1. They later teamed up for doubles play against Patil and Peter Ludlow. The match was a blowout, with the Yellowjackets winning 8-2.

Kantarelis and Hansen also dominated at No. 1 doubles. The formidable team was once ranked nationally at No. 20 last year. Not surprisingly, they defeated their opponents 8-2.

Freshman Jeff Titcombe and junior Michael Burger had their share of success as newcomers to the team. Their performance led to a powerful win, 8-2.

“Against Vassar, we were really pumped up because it was our home opener and we respect the Vassar team, they are tough,” Hansen said. “Unfortunately for Vassar, we were all at the top of our game on Saturday.”

Bruce-Black did not believe that Vassar was a worthy opponent, however, but did acknowledge the match’s importance in preparation for tougher opponents.

“I don’t think Vassar rivals us in talent level right now, but I think it was a good warm up match for us to get ready for spring break,” he said.

Le Moyne College proved to be a cakewalk for UR. The Yellowjackets nearly swept their adversaries, ending with a final score of 6-1.

Hansen and Kantarelis changed their spots at singles play, but it made little difference. Kantarelis used his powerful service game to defeat Matt Kraukzyk 6-2, 6-1. Hansen easily ousted his opponent with a 6-2, 6-2 final score. The duo later teamed up once again to defeat Kraukzyk and Stephen Putyera, 8-4.

Sophomore Aaron Gettinger stepped up to the plate, playing at No. 3 singles for the first time. In keeping with his ranks among the talented players of the team, Gettinger played relentlessly with effective groundstrokes, defeating Frank Donaldson, 6-4, 6-3.

Burger played at the top of his game at No. 5 singles, crushing Kodi Kosmoski 6-0, 6-1. He later teamed up with Gettinger at No. 2 doubles to beat the duo Donaldson and Kosmoski with a final score, 8-4.

The Yellowjackets have a tough road trip for spring break, first stopping at Middlebury College, which is ranked No. 2 in the country. After playing Bates College on Sunday, they will travel to California for a week of tennis in the sun.

Bruce-Black has confidence about the week on the West Coast.

“I expect to beat NYU and Bates this spring break and be very competitive with all the teams we play this spring break,” he said.

Lee can be reached at alee@campustimes.org.



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