The College of Staten Island women’s tennis team suffered its first conference loss of the season, falling to host Hunter College in a match played at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, by an 8-1 count.  The Dolphins lost their second straight overall to drop to 8-4 (5-1 CUNYAC), while the Hawks lifted their record to 9-0 (6-1 CUNYAC).
Hunter got on the board first and never looked back in doubles play.  Battling the temperamental rain and the damp courts, play got underway a bit early, as the threat of rain loomed.  The Hawks had an even quicker start as the team of Arielle Kamin and Stefanie Smith at No. 2 Doubles scored the first Hunter win, at 8-1.  A few moments later, play went final at No. 1 Doubles, where the team of Epraski Yushkova and Jennifer Kraham took an 8-2 winner.  Play was most intense at No. 3 Doubles, where the CSI team of Yelena Rasporskaya and Qing Li were in a duel with Hunter’s Ericka Jaramillo and Jessica Yi.  CSI got up early, staking themselves to a 4-3 lead, but the Hawks came roaring back to win the set, 8-5.
With a commanding 3-0 lead, Hunter used momentum to spring well ahead in singles.  Hunter was up, 7-0, before a pair of nail-biters ensued.  First, at No. Singles, CUNYAC Rookie of the Week Ilona Stoyko was battling with HC’s Kraham.  Stoyko got out ahead early, 4-1, but from there Kraham took over to win the first set, 7-6.  In another marathon second set, Kraham powered to a win, 7-5, denying CSI of the point they worked hard for.
Refusing to give in or be shut or, CSI got the lift it needed at No. 5.  There, CSI’s Rasporskaya was dead-locked with HC’s Jaramillo, as the pair won a series of points in the back-to-back match.  Rasporskaya was crisp early, winning the first set 6-3, but after going ahead 4-3 in the second, Jaramillo stayed aggressive and took a 6-4 winner, forcing a 10-point tiebreaker.  Rasporskaya took a 3-0 advantage, and even after Jaramillo tied it at 5-5, Rasporskaya stayed positive and nailed down the match by a 10-6 score, putting CSI in the scoring column and giving the unit a positive shine as it left the facility.
The win for Hunter situates them atop the conference with a 6-1 mark, one-half game ahead of the Dolphins in the standings with the head-to-head tiebreaker in their possession.  The CUNYAC Tournament begins Tuesday, October 19.  CSI has three more CUNYAC matches left on its schedule, with the first being on Thursday, October 7 against Medgar Evers College at 4pm at the CSI Tennis Center.