On September 23rd, Lehigh played host for the ECAC Men’s South Open Tennis Championship this past weekend at the Lewis Tennis Center, but Colgate ran the tournament and spoiled rival Lehigh’s chance at a repeat. Led by first year coach Bobby Pennington, the Raiders struck down foe after foe, winning three of the four singles flights, finishing second in the other singles flight, and taking the doubles flight as well. With a score of twenty points, Colgate dominated the competition, as Lehigh, who finished with seventeen points, was the only team with a score remotely close to Colgate. Rounding out the field were Loyala, Moravian, and Cabrini, with scores of eight and a half points, five and a half points, and five points, respectively.
Coming off a mediocre showing at the Northeast Intercollegiate Singles Tournament at Brown University, the Raiders were anything but average this weekend-they simply dominated. In the first flight of singles, senior Chris Innes shut down Cabrini’s Matt Ingram by the score of 6-0, 6-0, then scored a comeback victory against Lehigh’s Alfredo Fernandez-Concha 5-7, 6-4. 6-4 to take home the title.
“The contribution from our first year players was key and it was great to see them make a statement as they are going to be a large part of our team this year,” Innes said.
Sophomore Martin Macintyre finished in second place at second singles, losing a tough match to Lehigh’s Ryan Flloyd 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. In third singles, senior Marshall Wheeler glided past Moravian’s Keith Feinman, 6-1, 6-0, and then toughed one out against Lehigh’s Andrew Balshi 7-5, 6-1 to take home another title for Colgate.
“After losing to Lehigh 7-0 last season it was especially nice to take four of five matches from them, and I feel that it’s a huge step in the right direction for us after a disappointing season last year,” Wheeler said.
In the fourth singles bracket, first-year John Nogueras took down Loyola’s Chris Langley and Lehigh’s Brent Herbert with ease, as he won 6-1, 6-1 in both matches.
As for the doubles, the rest of the field was no match for first-year Michael Yassky and junior Tyler Deck, who romped past Loyola’s Chad Morrow and Donnie Marinari 6-2, 6-1, and finished off Lehigh’s Evan Volkman and Jon-Michael Camnit 6-2, 6-2 for the title.
“This was a huge win for our team,” Coach Pennington said. “Lehigh beat us last year 7-0, so to win this invitational on their courts was a huge confidence booster for our guys. I was very pleased with the determination and passion our guys showed and to win four out of the five flights speaks for itself.”
Considering Lehigh’s domination over Colgate last season, this was a huge win for the Raiders. While they will take a break for the next few weeks, the Raiders, who have conference championship aspirations after this strong showing, hope to take this momentum into the ITA Regionals at the University of Pennsylvania from October 20-26 and beyond.