Bulls Season Ends In MAC Semifinals
The University at Buffalo men's tennis team's quest for a second consecutive appearance in the championship match fell short on Friday afternoon as the Bulls were eliminated by Toledo, 4-3, in the semifinals at the Mid-American Conference Championships at Western Michigan University's Sorensen Courts. UB (12-8) had scored a 4-0 win over Chicago State in the quarterfinals before their loss to the Rockets.
Bagful of Bagels Against Cougars
After scoring the opening doubles point against Chicago State in the quarterfinals, UB took the necessary three matches quickly with a default at number six and a pair of "double bagel" wins. Number six Travis Zappia won by default for the second point. The match concluded as Alex Kalinin, at number five, and Marcelo Mazzetto, at number three, earned 6-0, 6-0 wins over Michael Chew and Lam, respectively. Three matches were left unfinished although the Bulls had won the opening set in each contest.
Three Named to All-League Teams
Wojciech Starakiewicz was named to the All-MAC First Team for the second consecutive season while Vusa Hove earned recognition to the All-MAC Second Team. The awards were handed out at the league banquet on Wednesday evening. Starakiewicz, playing both first singles and doubles for the Bulls, finished the season with a 14-11 singles mark and 13-11 in doubles play. Hove had a team-high 20 wins from his second singles slot and topped the Bulls with 19 doubles victories. Additionally, Hove was named the league's Player of the Week for his performances in the final weekend of the regular season in victories over Ball State and Northern Illinois. Following UB's elimination from the tournament, Alex Kalinin was named to the MAC's All-Tournament team. He won both of his matches with a victory at number five against Chicago State and number six against Toledo. Kalinin finished second on the Bulls with 17 singles triumphs.
With UB's loss in the semifinals, it meant the end of the collegiate careers of Marcelo Mazzetto and Mitch Zenaty. Mazzetto, a two-time All-MAC Second Team Honoree, finished on a high note, winning both of his tournament singles matches in straight sets and finishing the year with an 11-12 singles and 15-10 doubles record. His victory over Gursher Harika of Toledo was his 60th singles win of his career to place the Sao Paulo, Brazil native fifth on UB's all-time singles win chart. His 53 doubles wins are fourth on the UB all-time list. Zenaty, a three-year captain, was second on the team in 2010-11 with 16 doubles wins and went 42-42 in his career, tied for ninth all-time.
A Nickell's Worth
Following the Toledo match, head coach Lee Nickell said, "I am proud of the way we fought through a tough mid-year. I am proud of the seniors and what they have helped us accomplish in the past two years. We will miss them."