Men’s Tennis Trapped in Heartbreak Hotel

Cameron Thaney

If one were to choose a song to sum up the men’s tennis team’s first four dual matches this season, it would be Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel.” In a virtual repeat of their first weekend of competition late last month, the Raiders lost two close matches last weekend to St. Joseph’s University and Drexel University.

On Saturday, the men faced a tough team from St. Joseph’s. The Raiders started strong, picking up the crucial doubles point for the first time this season. Thanks to the first doubles tandem of co-captains senior Tyler Deck and junior Martin MacIntyre and the third doubles team of first-years Phil Bernasek and Ruslan Goussiantnikov, Colgate grabbed the all-important doubles point. MacIntyre and Deck defeated St. Joe’s number one team, 8-6, while Bernasek and Goussiantnikov played like veterans, as they defeated Will Pearson and Patrick Cerutti in a tiebreak, 9-8.

With the doubles point in hand, the Raiders needed to split the singles matches in order to claim their first victory of the season. Sophomores John Nogueras and Michael Yassky continued their strong play, as both won their singles matches in straight sets at the fourth and fifth singles spots respectively. But despite the solid play of “J-Nog” and Yassky, St. Joe’s proved to be too tough, as they picked up the remaining four singles matches, triumphing 4-3.

On Sunday, the men faced Drexel, and unfortunately the heartbreak continued for the Raiders. Nogueras and Yassky won a tight match at second doubles, 9-8, but Drexel dominated at third doubles and prevailed in an extremely tight first doubles match, defeating MacIntyre and “T-Deck,” 9-7.

In singles action, the stellar sophomores, Nogueras and Yassky, again led the Raiders. “J-Nog” defeated Drexel’s Carlo Pangilinan in three sets, 3-6, 6-2 and 6-3 at third singles. Yassky continued his undefeated streak in dual matches this spring, winning his fourth straight match. However, Drexel played extremely well, winning the remaining four singles matches in straight sets, defeating Colgate 5-2.

Perhaps a change of scenery will improve the men’s luck. They have their first home match of the season on Saturday at 2 p.m. when they face the University of Buffalo Bulls in the Sanford Field House.