Villanova’s men’s tennis team has something to celebrate, after a commanding and dominating sweep of the Millersville Marauders in both singles and doubles competition on Sept. 16.
The season’s first match saw nothing but perfection from each Wildcat player, as each singles player and doubles pair not only won their matches, but did so in straight sets.
Coming off multiple wins in the Bloomsburg Invitational Tournament, No. 1 singles player senior Aaron Kusza defeated Millersville’s Greg Bennett 6-1, 6-3. Fellow seniors No. 2 Ricardo Balardi and No. 6 Sean Gallagher cruised to victories over Brandon Kessler and Evan McConaghy, respectively.
Possibly more impressive than the performance of the seniors were the big victories from the freshman end of the team.
First year players Dimitri Chimerakis, Scott Fahrendorf, Tony Soruco, Diego Alvarado and Charlie Farmer were in command of their matches the whole way through and pulled out victories in the season opener.
On the doubles front, Balardi teamed with freshman Jorge Rodriguez to deliver a win in the No. 1 doubles match. They easily defeated the Millersville duo of Bennett and Cliff Boyd.
Meanwhile, the all-freshman team of Scott Fahrendorf and Charlie Farmer won by an even greater margin in their No. 2 doubles match against Kessler and teammate Chris Matisse.
Senior Angel Rubio and freshman Diego Alvarado also helped consummate the sweep of the Marauders with a straight-sets win over their No. 3 doubles opponents.
Coach Bob Batman was very pleased with his team’s work in swiftly defeating Millersville.
“The significance of this match was that although we were expected to win, the guys went out and took care of business without playing down to their opponents,” Batman said after the tournament.
“All in all, the team seems to be coming together and going in a positive direction, especially considering the number of freshmen that are being counted on to contribute,” he added.
The men’s team hopes to keep the momentum rolling into what could prove to be a tough schedule up ahead. This weekend, Villanova will participate in a three-day, multi-team tournament held at Brown University. In addition to the host, other strong teams attending the tournament include Harvard, USMA and Maryland.
These teams help make up some of the best talent in the region. However, the competition is exciting for a Villanova team ready to prove itself on a bigger scale.
“The team is looking forward to the challenge of top northeast competition,” Batman said. “We feel we are prepared to ‘step it up,’ and appear to be excited and prepared.”