CHARLESTON, SC – The University at Buffalo men's tennis team broke a five-match losing streak as the Bulls defeated homestanding Citadel, 6-1, as the Bulls (2-7) played in front of hostile and heckling crowd at Citadel's Earle Tennis Center on Monday afternoon.
The Bulls claimed the opening doubles point with victories in the numbers one and two matches as UB juggled its pairings of the top two teams. At number one, Damien David and Vusa Hove defeated David Orces and Dillon Berkabile, 8-3. In the number two contest, Wojciech Starakiewicz and Travis Zappia knocked off Josh Cook and Peter Bleach 8-4. UB's number three tandem of Alex Kalinin and Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik fell to Elliott Sperr and Alex Howie, 8-7.
UB rolled to five singles wins to take the match, winning all but the number one contest, as David fell to Orces, 6-3, 6-3. Hove, at number two, Starakiewicz, at number three, and Shkodnik, at number six, all picked up straight sets wins over their opponents. Freshman Ivan Vereshchaga needed three sets to down Bleach, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 at number four while Kalinin, at number five, went back and forth with Sperr winning the first and third sets in tiebreakers.
"This was a perfect opportunity for us. This match had every obstacle that a team can face, and it will prepare us for what lies ahead in the MAC conference," said head coach Lee Nickell. "I am certainly proud of all our guys for using the heckling that we faced to inspire us. I want all of our fans to know that even though our record lies at 2-7 and have faced a lot of adversity, our team has heart and we believe that we are on track to compete for another MAC championship."
The Bulls travel to Pittsburgh for their next contest against Duquesne on Saturday, March 17.
Buffalo 6, Citadel 1
1 Damien David/Vusa Hove (UB) d. David Orces/Dillon Berkabile (CIT), 8-3
2 Wojciech Starakiewicz/Travis Zappia (UB) d. Josh Cook/Peter Bleach (CIT), 8-4
3 Elliott Sperr/Alex Howle (CIT) d. Alex Kalinin/Yegeniy Jason Shkodnik (UB), 8-7
1 David Orces (CIT) d. Damien David (UB), 6-3, 6-3
2 Vusa Hove (UB) d. Dillon Berkabile (CIT), 6-2, 6-0
3 Wojciech Starakiewicz (UB) d. James Atkinson (CIT), 6-2, 6-1
4 Ivan Vereshchaga (UB) d. Peter Bleach (CIT), 6-2, 0-6, 6-2
5 Alex Kalinin (UB) d. Elliott Sperr (CIT), 7-6, 0-6, 7-6
6 Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik (UB) d. Alex Howle (CIT), 6-4, 6-3