BY John Bernstein
Many sports claim to have no off-season. Whether it be weight-lifting in the winter or sprints in the sweltering summer heat, many athletes would like to think their passion is a year-round commitment.
True as that may be, it’s hard to imagine an athletic endeavor that so refuses to halt its endless practice as tennis. With both a fall and spring season, tennis players at UR are constantly in the competitive mind set, seemingly always preparing themselves for the next opponent. When snow on the ground forbids the players from doing so anywhere else, they take to Goergen Athletic Center’s indoor courts to perfect their technique.
The heat these players endure when practicing under Goergen’s insulated covering is rivaled only by the obscene humidity they tolerate in the summer months, when the goal, once again, is to prepare for another competitive season.
The cycle continued this past weekend, as the men’s tennis team opened its fall 2011 campaign by hosting the Flower City Tournament. The Yellowjackets warded off the Nazareth College Golden Flyers, 5-4, in the opening round on Saturday, September 10 before coming up short against the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons in the semi-finals later that day.
Nazareth was a worthy foe in the singles matches. UR sophomore Boris Borovcanin lost in straight sets to a talented Ryan McCormick at No. 1 singles, while seniors Brian Rice and Matt Volkov suffered similar defeats at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively.
No. 2 singles was a different story, as junior Joel Allen swept the first set and went on to win (6-0, 6-3). Senior Alex Magill (6-1, 6-1) and sophomore John Etter Lewis (6-1, 6-0) found little opposition at No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively.
It took the conclusion of all three doubles matches before a winner could be determined. Borovcanin teamed with Rice to win at No. 1 doubles (8-5), while Allen and Volkov walked over their Nazareth opponents (8-0) to seal the deal for UR.
Borovcanin found his stride in the afternoon series against Oneonta’s David Goldberg, claiming No. 1 singles (6-1, 6-2). Borovcanin’s teammates didn’t fare so well, however, as Rice (4-6, 1-6), Magill (2-6, 6-7 (2)) and Etter Lewis (0-6, 6-3, 3-6) stumbled at No. 3, 5 and 6 singles, respectively. Volkov managed the only other singles win for UR, ousting Adam Slifkin (6-4, 6-2). Allen continued his undefeated streak in his doubles match against Oneonta, combining with Volkov to win No. 3 doubles, but ended his singles match prematurely once the Red Dragons had clinched the victory.