Bulls Make It a Good Friday With 5-2 Win Over Western Michigan
BUFFALO, NY – For the second time in the last three regular season meetings, the University at Buffalo men's tennis team scored a victory over Western Michigan in Mid-American Conference action on Friday afternoon at the University Tennis Center. The Bulls bested the Broncos, 5-2, to extend their winning streak to six matches and return to the .500 mark at 7-7 (2-0 MAC).
UB won the important doubles point in exciting fashion after the squads split the number one and two matches. The number three duo of Alex Kalinin and Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik rallied twice to take the deciding contest from WMU's Zeyad Montasser and Marc Shideler. UB trailed 6-1 in the match before the Kalinin/Shkodnik duo won seven of the next nine games to force the tiebreaker at 8-8. The Bulls then fell behind, 3-0, in the seven-point breaker. UB rallied for 3-3 tie at the first changeover then won four more points for the 7-5 victory.
The Bulls scored four singles matches to take the contest. Vusa Hove won his sixth singles match in a row with a 6-1, 6-3 decision over Pablo Olivarez in the number two contest to give the Bulls a 2-0 edge. WMU (11-10, 1-2 MAC) then closed to 2-1 as Montasser downed Wojciech Starakiewicz, 6-3, 6-3, in the number three contest.
UB clinched the match as Damien David and Ivan Vereshchaga won their singles contests in nearly simultaneous fashion. David won his 20th match of the year with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Nadin Indre in the number one contest. David tied Mike Rockman's 2003 freshman record with the 20th victory. Vereshchaga earned the clincher just seconds later as he knocked off Simon Blomberg, 6-4, 6-3, in the number four contest.
Shkodnik gave the Bulls their fifth point with a straight sets win over Aaron Wong, 6-3, 6-4.
The last match was decided in a super-tiebreaker as Kalinin forced the breaker with Ross VanderPloeg as the two players split the opening sets. VanderPloeg won the super-tiebreaker, 10-5, for the final margin.
"We certainly didn't start the way I expected, but they [UB's third doubles team] stuck with it. These guys never gave up. It's a credit to the guys," said head coach Lee Nickell. "The momentum we gained from winning doubles gave us the match."
The Bulls have now won six in a row, a mark they last set late last season to propel the squad into the MAC Tournament. "We've got a lot of momentum but we remember what it felt like to be 1-7. We feel good now and don't want to go back," said Nickell.
The Bulls return to the courts on Easter Sunday with a 1:00 pm contest with regional rival Binghamton.
Buffalo 5, Western Michigan 2
1 Ross VanderPloeg/Nadin Indre (WMU) d. Damien David/Vusa Hove (UB), 8-6
2 Wojciech Starakiewicz/Travis Zappia (UB) d. Aaron Wong/Pablo Olivarez (WMU), 8-3
3 Alex Kalinin/Yegeniy Jason Shkodnik (UB) d. Zeyad Montasser/Marc Shideler (WMU), 9-8 (5)
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
1 Damien David (UB) d. Nadin Indre (WMU), 7-5, 6-2
2 Vusa Hove (UB) d. Pablo Olivarez (WMU), 6-1, 6-3
3 Zeyad Montasser (WMU) d. Wojciech Starakiewicz (UB), 6-3, 6-3
4 Ivan Vereshchaga (UB) d. Simon Blomberg (WMU), 6-4, 6-3
5 Ross VanderPloeg (WMU) d. Alex Kalinin (UB), 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5)
6 Yevgeniy Jason Shkodnik (UB) d. Aaron Wong (WMU), 6-3, 6-4
E Jason Simon (UB) d. Marc Shideler (WMU), 6-2, 6-2
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1, 4, 6, 5