Men’s Tennis Starts Strong

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By Tom Terzulli

Mens Tennis (Patrick Doherty) color2
The men’s tennis team began the fall with a pair of wins this past weekend. Patrick Doherty/ The Fordham Ram

The Fordham Men’s Tennis team began its Fall 2015 season in solid fashion, winning two matches in a row this past weekend away from the friendly confines of Fordham’s Hawthorn and Rooney Courts.

The action began on Saturday, Sept. 19 in Loudonville, New York, with a 5-2 win over Siena College. The doubles portion did not start positively for Fordham, as the teams lost two out of three matches and, in turn, lost the doubles point. The lone victory came from the duo of senior Pedro Alonzo and sophomore Joseph Kavaloski, who trounced Siena’s Peter Galante and Alexander Read by the score of 6-3.

After an unimpressive start, the Rams stormed back to take five out of six singles points.

“We played very well in singles against Siena,” second yard head coach Michael Sowter said.

Sophomore Joey Brander took Fordham’s first point of the season, holding Galante to one win in 13 games, winning in dominating fashion 6-0, 6-1. Alonzo and Kavaloski both stayed undefeated on the day. Alonzo drubbed Siena’s Diego Lebron in straight sets 6-4, 6-1, and Kavaloski did the same to Alessandro Sagila 6-3, 6-4.

Cameron Poscillo had a tougher time in his match against Siena’s Alexander Reed. He lost the first set 6-3, but rallied to win the next two sets 7-6, 6-4. It was the only Ram victory that did not come in straight sets. The fifth and final point came from freshman Mikolaj Borak, who defeated Jace Kortez 6-4, 7-5. Fordham’s only blemish in solo competition came at the hands of Evan Nierman, who routed Ram sophomore Harris Durkovic 6-3, 6-2.

The Rams could not celebrate the spoils of their victory for long, as they headed to Larenceville, New Jersey the very next day for a date with the Rider University Broncos. The result was much of the same for Fordham, who won 5-2. The result of the doubles point, on the other hand, was different.
Coach Sowter was pleased with the result.

“We did a nice job of controlling the tempo of the doubles matches against Rider,” he said.

The Rams took the point in impressive fashion, beginning with the duo of Durkovic and Brander shutting out Rider’s Matthew Begley and Agaazi Berhane 6-0. Posillico and Borak clinched the point, besting the Bronco pair of Brandon Gildea and Jermey Van Herwade 6-2. Even the Rams’ defeat in doubles was a close encounter. Kavaloski and Alonzo fell to Chris Popso and Deigo Delgado in a 12-game match 7-5.

The Rams were not quite as dominant in singles competition, but were solid nonetheless, taking four out of six points. Every Fordham victory was in straight sets. Alonzo thwarted Popso 7-6, 6-1, Kavaloski defeated Van Herwade 6-1, 6-4, Brander trounced Berhane 6-1, 6-2 and Boark topped Gildea 6-0, 6-3. The two losses came courtesy of Delgado and Ryan Ciaccio. Delgado topped Posillico 6-0, 6-3, and Ciacco bounced freshman Christopher Caroli 6-1, 6-3.

According to Coach Sowter, these two matches gave a small sample of what he has been trying to bring to Fordham since he took over the job last year.

“We have spent a lot of time trying to increase intensity and competitiveness,” he said. “It really showed in these last two matches.”
Both teams could not have had more opposite starts to their seasons. The Broncos have limped out of the gate to an 0-3 start, compared to Fordham’s 2-0 start.

The Rams next travel to Long Island to play in the Hofstra Invitational on Sept. 25-26. Sowter believes these wins could be a great “confidence booster” before the all-important first tournament of the season.