After losing to St. Lawrence University two weekends ago, the UR men’s tennis team needed a boost. St. Lawrence was ranked 16th in the Northeast Regional poll conducted by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and flattened the ‘Jackets en route to a 7-1 win. But UR rebounded this past week with dominating 8-0 wins over the Nazareth College Golden Flyers and Keuka College, bringing its season record to 8-6.
For most of the season, the team has been led by the play of its freshmen, and the game against Nazareth was no exception. At the No. 3 singles position, freshman Bennett Peterson turned in a dominant performance, beating his Nazareth opponent, 6-0, 6-1. Freshman Daniel Barbash soundly beat his opponent at No. 6 singles, 6-1, 6-3.
Sophomore Brian Bowman also had a big day at No. 1 singles, giving up only one set en route to a 6-0, 6-1 victory. At the No. 4 spot, freshman Patrick Sheehan earned the win against Flyer opponent Steve Trobert, 6-3, 6-4.
At the No. 2 and 5 spots, sophomore Ryan Kovaleski and freshman Adam Crosby pulled out close matches. Kovaleski took the first set, 6-3, lost the second set, 6-7, and then grabbed the tiebreaker, 10-4, to come away with the win.
Crosby’s game also went to a tiebreaker. After winning the first set, 6-0, Crosby faltered in the second set, losing 3-6. In the deciding set, Crosby pulled out the win, 11-9.
Each doubles team turned in strong performances. Bowman and Kovaleski took down their opponents, 8-4, at No.1 doubles. Barbash and Peterson won, 8-3, at No. 2 doubles, and Crosby and Sheehan had no problem beating their Flyer opponent, 8-4.
The match against Keuka was a continuation of the momentum built up from UR’s game against Nazareth. Sheehan didn’t give up a set in his win at No. 4 singles. Crosby was dominant in a 6-0, 6-4 win at No. 5 singles.
Bowman took out his opponent, 6-2, 6-2, at first singles. The sophomore is 9-4 at the top singles position this season.
Peterson won 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles, Kovaleski dominated his opponent in a 6-0, 6-2 victory and Barbash crushed his Keuka foe, 6-1, 6-1.
All three doubles teams logged strong victories as well. The only set given up between the three teams was in No. 2 doubles, where Barbash and Peterson defeated their opponents 8-1.
The men finish off their regular season at home on Saturday when they take on SUNY Oswego at 11 a.m. The team then heads to Atlanta, Ga., where they will take part in the University Athletic Association Championships, hosted by Emory University on April 25-27.
Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.