Over the weekend, the UR men’s tennis team played at the St. Lawrence University Fall Men’s Tennis Classic against several local schools.

Sophomore Brian Bowman and freshman Ryan Kovaleski combined forces to win the tournament’s “A” doubles bracket. The duo beat Critter Tamm and Chris Rodilosso of St. Lawrence University, 8-5. The win by Bowman/Kovaleski followed up a successful Flower City Tournament where they won two of the three doubles matches that they played in.

Bowman was also the ‘Jackets’ top singles finisher of the tournament. He reached the semi-finals of the “A” bracket before being beaten in a third set tiebreak. After winning the opening set, Bowman could not get by Taylor Borda of Ithaca College, losing his match 7-5, 2-6, (3-10).

Freshman Patrick Sheehan reached the semi-finals of the “B” bracket in impressive fashion before also losing a third-set tiebreak. Sheehan dominated his first-round opponent 6-2, 6-0 and then took care of his second matchup in three sets. Unfortunately, like Bowman, Sheehan took the opening set of his third round match but failed to pick up another, dropping the last two, 6-4, 5-7, (4-10).

Head coach Anna Tozin was struck by the ‘Jackets’ early success this season, despite the general lack of experience on the roster.

“So far I have been impressed with how the freshmen have performed at practice and in match play,” she said. Of the 11 members of the team, eight of them are sophomores or freshmen.

Filling out the rest of the “A” singles bracket, freshman Bennett Peterson reached the second round after defeating Greg Kreitzer of Hamilton College, 6-4, 7-6 (3). He was eliminated in three close sets in his next match, 6-4, 3-6, (7-10). Kovaleski did not fare nearly as well in his hard-fought match, falling 4-6, 7-5, (8-10) in the first round to the eventual “A” bracket champion, Jon Satkowski of St. Lawrence.

Graduate student Michael Kornhauser lost his opening “B” match against Jeff Buffum of Ithaca College, 3-6, 0-6. Likewise, graduate student Jason Maher lost in straight sets to Peter Erwin of Hamilton College, 4-6, 2-6. Sophomore Adam Crosby reached the second round of the “C” Bracket before falling, 2-6, 3-6. Freshman Jeffrey Demas lost in his first round match, 2-6, 1-6.

On the doubles side, Peterson and Sheehan lost in the second round of the “A” Bracket after receiving a bye in the first round. They lost to the runners-up, Tamm and Rodilosso, 6-8. In the “B” Bracket, junior Tyler Socash and Demas lost 2-8 to the eventual bracket winners, after receiving a first-round bye. Maher and Crosby were also defeated in the second round, 3-8.

“This year, our goal is to take a step toward bringing the program into the top of Division III,” Tozin said. “We are still very young and need to develop individual games and as a team,” she added.

Sheehan echoed those sentiments. “We have a lot of room for improvement. For me, I really want to get a whole lot better and I think other guys feel the same way. We can only get better,” he said.

The team will have its next opportunity to take another step in the right direction this Friday through Sunday, Sept. 28-30, playing at the ITA Regionals in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Wasserman is a member of the class of 2010.

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