posted 2012-04-06 03:45:44

Athlete Profile: Damen Ellingson

California product livens up men’s tennis

Jennifer Kraham

The diversity at Hunter College is undeniable, and the men’s tennis team is no exception.

The Hawks have added 20-year-old Damen Ellingson to their lineup, a transfer student from Mount San Jacinto College in California, where he played two years of tennis for the Eagles. Ellingson was born in Honolulu, Hawaii but lived in Wildomar, California for most of his life.

“I came to Hunter because of their good tennis program, and for academics,” he said. “Hunter has a great writing program, as well as pre-law support. I like Hunter because you can get more face time with your teachers. They hold more office hours so if you have an issue you can get it fixed quickly,” he explained.

Ellingson and the Hawks started the 2012 season and their campaign for a third straight CUNYAC title on March 15 when they travelled to the Bronx to take on the Lehman College Lightning. Ellingson paired with senior Arthur Kapetanakis at second doubles and the duo won the match with ease. The 8-2 victory was Ellingson’s first win in the CUNY conference. In singles he took on Philip Akogu. After dominating the first set 6-0, he closed out the match with a tighter 6-3 second set to win the match, helping the Hawks to a 7-2 victory.

“He came in and immediately filled the spot that was open,” said junior teammate Robbie Frischling-Sosman. “Off the court, he’s great too. We’ve had no problem bonding.”

“Our team is solid. We have a lot of fun and support each other on and off the court, but we always push ourselves to do better,” says Ellingson.

The men went on to play York College on Mar. 23, in Jamaica, Queens. Ellingson and Frischling-Sosman paired up at second doubles and had a close match with the Cardinals, managing to squeak by with an 8-6 win. Ellingson went on to play third singles, and after winning the first set 7-6 his opponent retired, due to injury. The Hawks went on to win 9-0.

Continuing their undefeated streak in the CUNYAC conference, the men defeated CCNY on March 27. Again, Ellingson paired with Frischling-Sosman and dominated in second doubles with a score of 8-3. In singles action the California native had no problem handing his opponent a 6-3, 6-0 loss, leaving him undefeated in the conference thus far.

“We have a fair chance of capturing the CUNYAC title again this year and hopefully winning a round or two at NCAAs,” said Ellingson. “I have a really great relationship with the team. We are always laughing and having a good time at practice, but we get serious once we step on court,” he concluded.

The Hawks are back in action on April 3, when they face Lexington Avenue rivals Baruch College at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. The match is set for a 3:30 p.m. start.