Nick Zikos used a powerful serve to take a three-set win at No. 1 Singles

The College of Staten Island men’s tennis team saw their season-long winning streak snapped today, falling to visiting Baruch College, 7-2, as part of CUNYAC play at the CSI Tennis Center. CSI’s streak is snapped an eight games, as the team fell to 8-6 overall and 5-1 in conference play. The Bearcats lifted their marks to 7-4, 5-0, respectively.

Baruch College made an emphatic statement early, rolling to a 3-0 edge after doubles play. The No. 3 team of Philip Bleustein and David Garzon started the Bearcats off with an 8-0 win over CSI’s Austin Kapetanakis and Ed Ruffe. The Bearcats then grabbed a decisive second point, when the team of Danil Ovechkin and Guy Goren partnered at the top spot and turned back CSI’s team of Nick Zikos and Hector Molina by an 8-4 count. A couple of broken serves and a collection of unforced errors caught up to CSI in the second flight, as the team of Timur Shamuradov and Daniel Ursomanno fell to BC’s Artem Gorbachevskiy and Joe Laskowski, 8-5.

Losing all three flights, it would have been easy for CSI to succumb without much fanfare in singles, but instead, CSI made a quite emphatic statement, winning a pair of flights, losing one in a third set, and another in a very tight contest.

First, however, Baruch got the clinchers it needed at Nos 5 & 6 singles and Laskowski and Garzon were crisp in victory, giving Baruch the 5-0 advantage. From there, CSI was right in stride with the Bearcats. At No. 3, Molina gave Goren all he could handle, but the Bearcat with the heavy serve took a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) winner, his first playing at No. 3. Shamuradov at No. 2 got CSI on the register, frustrating Gorbachevskiy and handing Baruch’s No. 2 his first CUNYAC loss with a 6-4, 7-5, victory.

In the pole position, the battle of two tremendous serves was taking place between Zikos and Ovechkin. Zikos was able to break an Ovechkin service to take the first set, 6-4, but Ovechkin returned the favor in a 6-4 win the other way in set two. In the final set, the two powered back and forth, but it was Zikos who managed the win, taking an 11-9 win to give CSI its second point.

Down at No. 4, Ursomanno rallied after Bleustein took the first set, 6-4, to take a 6-3 second set win, but Bleustein was the winner in the marathon third set, via a 10-6 mark. Still, despite the crooked final score, CSI felt like it sent a message in singles, especially given the absence of usual No. 5 Kolachok Chuenpratum, who came in to the match with an 8-2 singles record this season.

CSI will get right back to work tomorrow, travelling to Brooklyn College to take on the Bulldogs in another conference test at 4:00pm.