Tennis Stays Busy In Sunshine State

Cameron Thaney

The men and women’s tennis teams escaped the cold of Hamilton by spending their spring break under the Florida sun. However, the Raiders did not just spend their spring break soaking up the rays by the pool. Both teams had busy schedules, playing a combined seven matches in Florida.

The men had a rough start to their spring break, as they played a very tough opponent in Florida Gulf Coast. Facing the warm outdoor conditions, a stark contrast to Colgate’s Sanford Fieldhouse, the Raiders were swept 7-0 by the home team.

The following day, the men lost an extremely close match to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, 4-3. Colgate started strong by winning the doubles point with victories from sophomores John Nogueras and Michael Yassky at the second spot and the freshman duo of Phil Bernasek and Ruslan Goussiantnikov at third doubles. The Raiders’ other two victories came from junior Martin MacIntyre at first singles and Bernasek, who picked up his second victory of the day with a win at fourth singles.

The Colgate men may have had a rough start to their spring break, but they certainly finished strong by dominating their final two matches.

The Raiders swept the New Jersey Institute of Technology, taking all three doubles matches and all six singles matches. The Raiders got three-set victories from Martin MacIntyre, junior Tyler Deck and Phil Bernasek at the first, third and fourth spots respectively.

The men’s final match of spring break was against St. Leo University. The match was played in a nine-point format, with each doubles match counting for a full point. The Raiders defeated St. Leo 7-2, winning two doubles matches and five singles matches. At second doubles, John Nogueras and Michael Yassky cruised to an 8-1 victory, while teammates Phil Bernasek and Ruslan Goussiantnikov won their third doubles match, 8-2. Florida native,John Nogueras enjoyed his homecoming, as he prevailed in a tight three-set match. After dropping the first set, 7-5, Nogueras stormed back to take the final two sets, 6-2, 6-3. Phil Bernasek continued his strong play, winning his third singles match of the week in defeating his opponent in three sets, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. The Raiders also picked up straight set victories from MacIntyre, Yassky and Goussiantnikov.

The women had three matches last week, and each match was decided by one point.

The Raiders began their spring break with a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to Hillsborough Community College. Hillsborough won two of the three doubles matches; the lone Colgate doubles victory came at second doubles from sophomore Cameron Williams and first-year Stephanie Bender, who crushed their opponents, 8-2. The two teams split the singles matches, giving Hillsborough a one-point victory. At second singles, sophomore Samantha Inacker dominated her opponent, only surrendering one game in her 6-0, 6-1 victory. Sophomore Elise DeRose and junior Erin Fenn also played well, as both won their matches in straight sets at the first and fifth singles spots respectively.

The women suffered another tough loss, falling 5-4 to St. Leo University. The Raiders won one doubles match and three singles matches. Elise DeRose and Samantha Inacker won a thrilling match at first doubles, prevailing 10-8 in a tiebreaker. At third singles, Isabel Reimer won in three sets, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, while Colgate also picked up wins from Jackie Stimmel and Stephanie Bender at the fifth and six spots. Bender dominated in her singles debut this season, winning 6-0, 6-2.

The Raiders returned to winning form, defeating the New Jersey Institute of Technology, 4-3. NJIT won the doubles point by winning first and second doubles. The Raiders shook off the doubles losses to win four of the six singles matches. Sophomores Samantha Inacker and Jackie Stimmel both won in straight sets, while first-year Isabel Reimer won her second three-set match of the week. The deciding match came at fifth singles, where Erin Fenn pulled out a three-set victory. After losing the first set, 7-5, Fenn dominated the final two sets by winning 6-3, 6-0, giving the Raiders a 4-3 win.

The women will next play the Syracuse Orange on March 26, while the men will play their first Patriot League match on March 29 when they face off against current Patriot League Champion, Navy.