Men’s Tennis Falls Short in Quest for 3-PeatHawks’ playoff run ends with final defeat to Baruch
Staff Writer The Hunter College men’s tennis team’s dream for a three-peat CUNYAC Championship title this year was squashed when they fell to number one seed Baruch College on Thursday, May 3, at the National Tennis Center in Queens, NY.
After finishing in third place in regular season play, the Hawks upset the second seeded Bloodhounds of John Jay College by a score of 5-1 on Sunday, April 29. It was a measure of revenge for the Hawks, as they had lost to the Bloodhounds 3-6 in their only season matchup.
“We didn’t have our full lineup when we played them, the first time,” said senior Iriving Salazar. “We knew that we could beat them if everyone in the lineup was there. It was a good feeling to beat them when they thought they could win again.”
At the finals, the day started out with doubles, and the Bearcats quickly took second doubles with relative ease. The team of Christopher Jenkins and MVP Stephan Muller dismantled sophomore Damen Ellingson and Salazar, giving Baruch their first win of the day.
Third doubles had a much closer match, with the tandem team of seniors Arthur Kapetanakis and Robbie Frischling-Sosman falling to Phillip Bleustein and Joe Laskowski 8-4.
First doubles was a different story. The standout team of junior Yevgeny Perepelov and senior Luis Quintero dueled it out with Artem Gorbachevskiy and Guy Goren, edging them out with a score 9-7 to give the Hawks their first win of the day.
“After doubles we knew we needed to step up our game. We didn’t play our best in doubles, but we had a fresh start in singles,” said Frischling-Sosman.
Going into singles action, the Hawks needed four wins to grab the title, versus the Bearcats three. As per NCAA rules, the first team to five matches wins.
Baruch jumped out to a quick 3-1 as Laskowski polished off Salazar in sixth singles 6-1, 6-1. The Bearcats extended their lead when Jenkins topped Elingson 6-1, 6-0 in the third slot. After this, Baruch only needed one more win to claim the title. All eyes turned to the matches of Perepelov, Quintero, and Kapetanakis. The Hawks would need wins from all three in order to win the match and the title.
“We knew that it would come down to us. Once we heard that third and sixth singles lost, we wanted to get our team to NCAA,” said Pereplov.
Perepelov took the first set 6-3 against Gorbachevskiy and the two were knotted at 5-5 in the second set. Quintero was up in the first set 6-5 against Goren, but Baruch’s Muller defeated Kapetanakis 6-1, 6-3, to give them their fifth and final win.
“It was a tough loss for us obviously, said Head Coach Eric Metzger. “We came into this hoping to come out with a victory but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. We’ll take this experience and learn from it for next year.”
Frischling-Sosman was similarly disappointed. “They were just the better team this year,” he reflected.
With the win, Baruch won their first championship since 2009, stopping the Hawks streak to two. They now go on to represent CUNY in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament that will begin on May 11.
For the Hawks, who will lose at least four starters from this year’s lineup, a new class of recruits will have another crack at the title next year.