Bulls Clinch Third Place With 6-1 Win Over Northern Illinois
WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – The University at Buffalo men's tennis team clinched the third seed for next week's Mid-American Conference Tournament following Sunday's 6-1 win over Northern Illinois at the Miller Tennis Center. The Bulls (11-7, 3-2 MAC) have now won five in a row as they head into the league championships.
The Bulls jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as they swept all three doubles contests. First to finish was the number three match as the duo of George Tibil and Vusa Hove improved to 6-0 this season with their 8-1 victory over Bryant Poggensee-Wei and Tyler Stephens. The Bulls clinched the point as the number one combo of Wojceich Starakiewicz and Mitch Zenaty knocked off Axel Lagerlof and Roman Turtygin, 8-4. Marcelo Mazzetto and Travis Zappia, at number two, also took an 8-5 decision from Maksym Lagutin and Maksym Bartiuk.
UB used victories in the bottom three matches to secure the win over the Huskies (11-15, 1-4 MAC). Playing in their final home match, the senior twosome of Zenaty and Mazzetto made quick work of their opponents. Zenaty, at number six, defeated Stephens, 6-2, 6-0, for the second point. Mazzetto then downed Lagutin, 6-1, 6-1, in the number four match to give the Bulls the 3-0 edge.
Freshman Jason Simon clinched the match for the Bulls with his victory in the number six contest. Simon and NIU's Poggensee-Wei stayed on serve throughout the first set before Simon scored a 7-3 tiebreaker win. From there, Simon cruised to a 6-0 second set win and give the Bulls the 4-0 lead.
Two matches went to third-set super-tiebreakers with the Bulls victorious in both contests. At number two, Hove recorded his team leading 20th singles win of the year with a 10-8 tiebreaker over Lagerlof. Tibil also picked up a win with a 10-4 tiebreaker over Turtygin.
"I'm just so happy for the seniors to go out with a win," said UB head coach Lee Nickell. "This was a complete team effort. We have good momentum going into the tournament. We've gotten through our injuries."
The Bulls clinched the third seed in the MAC Championships starting in Kalamazoo, MI on Thursday. UB will face sixth-seeded Chicago State in one quarterfinal while Northern Illinois and Ball State, UB's last two victories, meet in the other quarterfinal.
Buffalo 6, Northern Illinois 1
1 Wojceich Starakiewicz/Mitch Zenaty (UB) d. Axel Lagerlof/Roman Turtygin (NIU), 8-4
2 Marcelo Mazzetto/Travis Zappia (UB) d. Maksym Lagutin/Maksym Bartiuk (NIU), 8-5
3 George Tibil/Vusa Hove (UB) d. Bryant Poggensee-Wei/Tyler Stephens (NIU), 8-1
Order of finish: 3, 1, 2
1 Maksym Bartiuk (NIU) d. Wojceich Starakiewicz (UB), 6-2, 7-6 (1)
2 Vusa Hove (UB) d. Axel Lagerlof (NIU), 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-8)
3 George Tibil (UB) d. Roman Turtygin (NIU), 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-4)
4 Marcelo Mazzetto (UB) d. Maksym Lagutin (NIU), 6-1, 6-1
5 Jason Simon (UB) d. Bryant Poggensee-Wei (NIU), 7-6 (3), 6-0
6 Mitch Zenaty (UB) d. Tyler Stephens (NIU), 6-2, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3