Men’s Tennis Season Ends In Big East Tournament


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Men’s Tennis Season Ends In Big East Tournament

Noah Swan, Staff Writer

The Villanova men’s tennis team saw its season cut short, losing 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the Big East Championships to Marquette. Although it was a premature end to a beyond strange season, the Wildcats can come away from this season with optimism heading into next year.

Marquette opened the match by picking up the doubles point, courtesy wins at the number one and number three positions. Villanova head coach Brad Adams seemed to have found the best doubles combination over the past couple of matches, but the Golden Eagles overwhelmed the inexperienced Wildcats in the match. 

Sophomore Alex Kim and senior Daniel Martinez lost 6-3 at the top of the lineup, finishing 3-4 on the season as a partnership. Despite the losing record, the team found much more success than previous combinations for the number spot. As Martinez graduates this season, Kim will need to rediscover this chemistry with another teammate and build upon the experience of this season to come back stronger in the next campaign.

Sophomore Justin Suarez and freshman Anthony Prokurat fell at the number three doubles spot by the same score as their teammates. The younger pairing finished the season with a stellar 5-2 record despite not starting the season as a team. Suarez and Prokurat struggled to find wins alongside other teammates, but the pairing secured the number three doubles spot down the closing stretch of the season.

The final doubles set was cut short, as freshman Josh Robinson and junior Matthew Jones’s 5-5 battle at the number two spot lacked an adequate finale. With a 12-5 record on the season, the number two  doubles team accounts for almost half of all doubles set wins throughout the season. The duo became a key partnership for Adams as he altered the lineup during the season, evidenced by the number of matches the team played together. Jones returns next year for his senior season looking to rejoin Robinson with one year under his belt. The two form a dangerous squad for the Wildcats moving forward.

Kim went down in straight sets at the number one singles spot, closing out the season with only five wins. Following the 14-11 record in his freshman year, Kim had a tough job at the top of the singles lineup. Facing more experienced competition and players of a different caliber forced Kim to make adjustments and reorient himself to the season. He has focused more on taking lessons or observations from each match and shaping himself through this gauntlet. He has emerged with a less than stellar record but as a much better tennis player and someone to watch out for next season.

Prokurat and sophomore Daniel Cheng did not finish their matches at the number five and number four spots, respectively. The two gained invaluable experience throughout the season, each with 17 singles matches to build upon for the next season. Cheng moved into a greater role this past season after only seeing the court nine times his freshman year. With greater playing time, Cheng will now need to step into a leadership role alongside other sophomores as he boasts more experience than most other Wildcats.

Freshman Eitan Khromchenko and Robinson finished the season with a team-leading 10 singles wins despite the losses to Marquette. As seen with Kim and Cheng, freshmen can often find more success in their first year with a leveling off the following season. Robinson and Khromchenko must not rest on this success but work with their teammates to improve upon this season’s performances.

The only singles win came from freshman Ryan Nguyen at the number six singles position, a lone bright spot in a mostly sour day for the Wildcats. Consolation wins aside, Nguyen finishes the season with a winning record, one of four freshmen with winning singles records for the team.

Each match this season added experience to a team that needed it desperately. Martinez departs from the team with a sour taste, but the team must remain locked in as this offseason proves crucial to successful matches next season.