Staten Island, NY | In a match that determined the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship and was the conference finale for both sides, the College of Staten Island dropped a 5-4 decision to Baruch College on the indoor courts at the CSI Tennis Center. The Bearcats, the defending CUNYAC Champions, will take the No. 1 seed going into the CUNYAC Postseason Tournament, advancing their record to 8-4 overall and 6-0 in the CUNYAC, while CSI saw their eight-match win streak halted, falling to 8-2, 5-1, respectively.
Play started with Doubles, and that’s where Baruch would take a crucial 2-1 advantage. CSI got on the register early, taking the No. 2 flight, as Matthew Vesci and Tao Lin proved too much for the Baruch tandem of Michael Dozortsev and Clement Lacoudre by an 8-2 count.
CSI stayed neck-and-neck in the top spot, but after Abhinav Srivatava and Leonard Margolis were able to break service for Baruch, CSI’s tandem of Ivi Selenica and Alex Tsui could not seem to rally back, dropping the flight, 8-4.
That brought all eyes at the No. 3 spot. There, Raymond Hwang and Lesly DeCastro were locked in a battle with BC’s Jeremy Berman and Andrew Givelchian. The CSI duo powered ahead first, but then a broken service and a string of great winners gave the visitors a commanding, 7-4, advantage. From there, CSI turned it up and were able to score three points in a row to tie it up at 7-7. Play then moved to a tiebreaker, and Berman and Givelchian were able to focus in and get off to a lead en route to an 8-4 win. That gave Baruch the 2-1 edge coming out of Doubles.
That certainly fueled the Bearcats for Singles, and despite the final score, they were able to seal the win early on with three straight-set wins in Singles. The first to turn in a win was Berman, who turned in a 6-1, 6-4, win over CSI’s Matthew Kotlyar at No. 4, and moments later, Margolis was able to register a 6-2, 6-3, winner over Vesci at No. 2. The Bearcats then got the clincher at the top spot, as No. 1 player Srivastara was able to score a 6-4, 6-4, win over Selenica.
From there, CSI was able to respond, and they swept the rest of the way to knock the deficit to just one by the end of the match. Hwang got CSI started with a 2-6, 6-4, 10-4, win over Dozortsev. Then, down in the No. 5 position, Tsui was able to take a hard-fought match over David Luo, 7-5, 6-4. At No. 6, in another three-set affair, DeCastro was able to weather Givelchian, 6-4, 2-6, 10-8.
Despite the loss, CSI will enter the 2019 CUNYAC Postseason Tournament as the No. 2 seed in time for the semifinal round of play. The top two seeds get a first-round bye and automatically get advanced to semifinal play.
Before that, CSI still has three non-conference preps before the tournament, starting with Farmingdale State on Monday at 4:30pm, at the CSi Tennis Center.