Navy sinks ‘Nova in season opener

Kyle Scudilla

The men’s tennis team started their spring season on Saturday by dropping their first match to the United States Naval Academy by a score of 4-1.

Villanova won in the only doubles match of the day but was defeated in all four singles matches.

The bright spot for the Wildcats in this disappointing opener was the doubles victory notched by freshmen Scott Fahrendorf and Charlie Farmer. They won their No. 1 doubles match, 6-3, 6-4, against Navy’s tandem of Billy Griffin and Matt Walton.

Navy certainly had the Wildcats’ number, however, when it came to the day’s singles matches. Aaron Kusza, Villanova’s No. 1 singles player who was impressive in fall play earlier this year, was defeated by Brandon Carter 6-3, 6-3.

No. 2 Wildcat Ricardo Balardi gave Davy Lee a scare, forcing a third set after salvaging a second set victory, but he eventually lost, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. Villanova rounded out its singles docket with losses at No. 3 and 4 singles by Dimitri Chimerakis and Sean Gallagher, respectively.

Villanova’s record for the 2004-05 season, teamed with their play during the fall, fell to 2-2. Meanwhile, Navy continued a perfect season, extending their record to 3-0.

The Wildcats, who are being led once again by coach Bob Batman, who is in his 11th season with the team, return to the courts on Feb. 6, when they take on Stetson in Bethlehem, Pa. Most of Villanova’s remaining schedule will be played in the northeast, featuring notable matches against Georgetown, Boston College, Temple and St. Joseph’s.

In early March the team will travel to Orlando, Fla.The opponents set for that stretch include Valparaiso, Grand Valley State, Fairfield and Penn State. On April 21-23, Villanova returns to Florida for the Big East Championship in Tampa.