The College of Staten Island women’s tennis squad broke through in the win column for the first time this season, powering over CUNYAC-rival Baruch College, 6-3, in a marathon match played at the CSI Tennis Center this afternoon. The win moved CSI to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play while the Bearcats fell to 0-2 to open the season, 0-1 in the CUNYAC. The match took a heavy four and a half hours to complete.
The difference in the match was arguably how it started, with doubles taking center stage. Having dropped two out of three doubles flights in each of their first two matches, CSI responded by sweeping all three flights against Baruch. The first pair off the court was CSI’s team of Sophia Varriano and Jean Baak, who scored an 8-3 win in the second flight against Baruch’s Amanda Naraine and Lisa Kurner. Shortly after, the No. 3 team of Faith Avevor and Maryna Incherchera powered to an 8-4 win over BC’s Marianna Kogan and Barbara Lucas.
The most intense came at the top where for the first time, CSI’s Ilona Stoyko and Alena Vedeneeva teamed up. The CSI duo got off to a crisp, 5-1, edge, but battling back was BC’s Patricia Gomes and Ana Komar, who struck up four straight points to tie things up at 5-5. But CSI responded after that as Stoyko held serve to give CSI back the lead, and after breaking Baruch’s serve, Vedeneeva served through a 40-40 game to put a winner through, giving CSI the commanding 3-0 edge overall.
From there, singles was an even split, and saw very competitive play throughout. On four courts, Baruch gained back momentum, as Gomes scored a 6-1, 6-3, win over Varriano at the top spot, and Kurner toppled Avevor, 6-4, 6-3, to put the Bearcats back in it at 3-2. It took three sets, but CSI responded with a win at No. 6, as Masterson held on late to win a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 match, giving CSI a 4-2 advantage.
All eyes then turned to the match between CSI’s Baak and Baruch’s Kogan. With her squad behind her, Baak was almost pushed to a win, battling extremely hard, but ultimately falling 7-5, 7-6 (7-1), in what was the most competitive match of the meet.
Despite the Bearcats clawing their way back, it was CSI that was able to hold on, as the Dolphins scored lopsided wins. At No. 2, Stoyko took care of business, 6-0, 6-1, over Komar, while at No. 3 Vedeneeva took down Naraine, 6-1, 6-0, improving her singles record to 2-0 this season.
CSI will get a well-deserved few days off before returning to the courts on Saturday against City College of New York on the road.