Bulls' Rally Falls Short Agains Cleveland State
A spirited rally by the University at Buffalo men's tennis team fell just short on Sunday afternoon as the Bulls dropped a 4-3 decision to visiting Cleveland State at the Miller Tennis Center. UB trailed 3-0 in singles play with four matches remaining, taking the next three contests to conclude and forcing the final match into a third set.
Top of the Order Scores Singles Wins
UB's singles wins against Cleveland State were secured by their top three slots in the lineup. After Cleveland State jumped out to a 3-0 lead, number one Damien David scored a straight-sets victory over Ali Shabib, 6-3, 6-2 to begin the rally. Wojciech Starakiewicz then won his match at number three over Yannick Goossens, 6-1, 6-2. Vusa Hove tied the match at 3-3 with this three-set win over Matt Kuelker, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, in the number two contest. David picked up his team best 14th win while Hove improved to 8-4 in singles play this season.
Home Loss is a Rarity
Since Lee Nickell became head coach three seasons ago, the Bulls are 10-2 when playing on their home courts. Sunday's loss to the Vikings was the first-ever at the Miller Tennis Center, UB's home indoor courts since Nickell's arrival. The Bulls went undefeated at home in 2011 with a 5-0 mark, including four indoor wins. In 2010, UB's lone home defeat was to America East powerhouse Binghamton, 5-2, on April 4 in the final contest of home slate, a match played outdoors at the University Tennis Club.
Ivy Rivals on This Week's Schedule
The Bulls will face a pair of Ivy League opponents on the road this weekend. UB travels to Penn on Saturday, February 25 and Princeton on Sunday, February 26. The matches will be the third and fourth contests against the eight-member Ivy League this season, all on the road. Penn is 3-1 this season and will conclude a four-match homestand at Levy Pavilion with Saturday's contest against the Bulls. The Quakers defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 6-1, in their last action on February 18. Although 3-6 this season, Princeton is still ranked 70th in the latest ITA national poll. The Tigers went 1-2 at last weekend's ECAC Championships at Dartmouth, scoring a win over Yale but falling to St. John's and the homestanding Big Green. This will be UB's second trip to Princeton this season after participating in the season-opening Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational last September.