Anthony Cittadino, Assistant Copy Editor
The Utica College men’s tennis lost two tough matches to conference rivals St. John Fisher College, and Nazareth College this past weekend.
Saturday’s match up against Fisher was a tough day for the Pioneers as they lost 9-0. However, there were some positives to take away from the match as junior Kevin Vo led the Pioneers winning eight matches.
“Playing against St. John fisher was a little rough. They were great players and they were able to out beat us,” Vo said. “However, they gave me a good experience and I was able to learn a lot of things playing against them.”
For singles play, three other Pioneers won at least one game, senior Matt Rogers, sophomore Daniel Angotti and freshman Paul Litvak. Litvak was pleased with the way he played and it helped his confidence moving forward.
“I feel like I played not bad for a freshman. I have only played for two years so I think there is a chance I can get better,” Litvak said. “I feel really confident going into our next match and hopefully we will come out on top.”
The Pioneers found some progress Sunday afternoon against Elmira. Vo and Rogers each won their singles match for the only two points for UC. Vo felt comfortable going into his matches against Nazareth and it showed out on the court.
“When playing against Nazareth, I felt really good going into both my singles and doubles matches,” Vo said. “I was ready to bounce back and get into a rhythm for my singles match; therefore, I was able to pull out the win in a close 3rd set tie breaker.”
Elmira still put this one away easily with their fourth win of the season. Despite the loss, senior Jacob Nigolian fought hard and was happy with the way his doubles match went with his partner.
“I was happy with Matt [Rogers] and myself in our doubles performance against Nazareth,” Nigolian said. “They are a good team and we played tough, even though we ended up losing 8 to 6.”
There aren’t many matches left in the season, but Nigolian still sees room for improvement for the future.
“We have a lot of work to do. One area we can improve is in our doubles play,” he said. “Finishing out games when we get a lead is a must if we want to start winning.”
Vo and Nigolian seemed to be on the same page in terms of the team’s improvements going forward.
“I feel like as a team, we definitely need to work on our doubles play to be more confident in approaching the net more often and be more aggressive,” Vo said. “We tend to be afraid to attack on some balls and end up playing too passive and defensive.”
The Pioneers won their first match of the season 8-1 against The Sages Colleges on Wednesday evening. Vo, Rogers, Litvak, seniors Edgar Aguilar and Raphael Warnon won their single matches on the night. As for doubles, Rogers, Nigolian, Litvak and Franklin Guebara won all of their matches as well.
UC earned its first victory on the season to improve their record to 1-5. The Pioneers return to the court on Saturday as they host conference opponent Hartwick College at 1 p.m.
Featured image; Sophomore Kevin Vo picked up a win for UC at first singles by defeating Nazareth’s Tyler Williams 6-4 2-6 10-6. Photo by ucpioneers.com.