Raiders Open Season with Strong Showing at Siena

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Men and Women's Tennis Victories

Ignacio Villar, Assistant Sports Editor

Colgate men’s and women’s tennis opened their respective seasons in Schenectady, NY at the Siena Invitational on September 6 and 7. Men’s tennis reached four flight finals and the women’s team made it to a doubles final, as well as two singles in the semifinals. 

The Holy Cross Crusaders, Hofstra Pride, Lafayette Leopards, Fairleigh Dickinson Knights and the Rider Broncs also took part in the competition.    

Junior Scott Bickel won matches against Holy Cross and Hofstra, on his way to the Flight A final against Lafayette. In the finals, Bickel fought back to take  the second set 6-1 after dropping the first set 6-1. In the third, a 10-point tiebreak, Bickel lost 10-7 to first-year William Barry. 

First-year Dean Vlassis also made it to the Flight D singles final. Vlassis defeated sophomore Julien Wolfe from Hofstra, as well as first-years Marvin Oberli and Griffen Barnett from  Siena, before falling to junior Youssef Sader from Fairleigh Dickinson. Vlassis dropped the first set 6-2, before climbing back with a 6-2 set win of his own. Vlassis narrowly lost the superset tiebreaker 10-7, making it two finals losses on the weekend. Over in doubles, sophomores Rohan Gupta and Nick Potter teamed up on their way to the Flight B final, defeating teams from Siena and Fairleigh Dickinson, before narrowly losing to a team from Hofstra in a 7-6 (3) decision.  

Meanwhile, Vlassis reached another final, this time in Flight C doubles with junior Peter Hartman.  

Vlassis and Hartman beat Siena and Holy Cross before Faileigh Dickinson once again played foil to the Raiders, the Knights going on to win 6-4.

“The great news for the men is that we got to four flight finals, two in singles and two in doubles. The bad news is that we lost three of the four in tiebreakers and the other by a break,” head men’s and women’s tennis coach Bobby Pennington said.

In the women’s side of the tournament, the Raiders came close but couldn’t quite pull it off. The stars of the weekend were senior Jordan Williams and first-year Rebecca Wolf, who made it all the way to the Flight B doubles final, only losing four games in the matches against Fairleigh Dickinson and Hofstra on their way to final. 

Their incredible start to the weekend wasn’t enough, however, as Williams and Wolf were beaten 6-2 by sophomore Aleksandra Vorozheikina and first-year Alena Kubanova of the Knights. 

Sophomore Nicole Condas, meanwhile, battled her way to the backdraw singles final after dropping her first match against Lafayette. 

Condas then easily beat sophomore Mandisa Walle from Hofstra, followed by a nail-biting 9-8 (5) thriller against sophomore Angelica Garcia from Rider. Condas fell just short in the final, losing to junior Grace Conrand from Lafayette 8-6.  

The weekend’s level of play from the Raiders was a vast improvement from a team that finished with a 5-15 record the previous year. 

“Overall it was a high quality event for our ladies against an impressive field. The level of depth and play is a 180 from last year. We won a ton of matches on Friday and lost some heartbreaking battles,” Pennington said.

The men will next play in the Villanova Invitational from September 13 to September 15, while the women will go to the Columbia Invitational that same weekend.