The College of Staten Island women’s tennis team got their 2011 season officially underway tonight, falling just short in their visit to Pratt Institute, a 5-4 loss.  Pratt improved to 1-0 while the Dolphins, who saw their original opener last weekend postponed, now stand at 0-1.

CSI scored early on, posting a win in the top doubles flight when freshman Sophia Varriano teamed with sophomore Ilona Stoyko to power over Pratt’s Mills and Starch for an 8-3 winner.  CSI couldn’t capitalize from there, as Pratt scored wins at both second and third doubles to hold a 2-1 advantage after doubles.  The start would mean that the Dolphins would have to take four of six singles flights to land a win, while the Cannoneers needed only a split.

Pratt capitalized on their end grabbing 10-0 wins at both the fifth and sixth flights, forcing CSI to sweep for a win.  The Dolphins nearly responded.  At No. 4 Singles Alena Vedeneeva took down Ames by a 10-4 count, and higher up the ladder, Stoyko powered to a 10-3 win at No. 2.  Varriano kept her CSI debut perfect, scoring a 10-7 winner at the top-spot.  Unfortunately, that was the final win for CSI, as Pratt was able to slide in a win at No. 3, to clinch the victory.

The Dolphins were without the services of returner Dem-Jean Martorano and freshman Faith Avevor, who are expected to bolster the roster.  CSI will return to action on Saturday for their home opener, a 1pm showdown with Farmingdale State at the CSI Tennis Center.