The College of Staten Island men’s tennis team now owns the longest winning streak of any Dolphins team this season, upping their win skein to eight games with a gritty, 5-4, win over Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey on Wednesday evening. CSI improved to 8-5 with the win, while the Roadrunners fell to 7-4. The women of both sides also played, with Ramapo scoring a 9-0 win.
In what was perhaps the most competitive match of the season for the Dolphins, CSI fell behind, 2-1, after doubles. CSI’s top unit of Nicholas Zikos and Hector Molina were exceptional in an 8-0 win over Ramapo’s top line of Evan Clayton and Jacob Khodakov. The rest of the doubles block, however, belonged to RC. At No. 3 the Ramapo team of Miles Murphy and Jacob Wyble took down CSI’s team of Austin Kapetanakis and Ed Ruffe, 8-2, and in a much tighter affair, RC’s team of Justin Gerstl and Matt Guiliari scored a gritty, 8-6, win over CSI’s Timur Shamuradov and Daniel Ursomanno.
Things were looking bleak for CSI when singles started too, as the Dolphins dropped the first set in four out of their six singles flights, putting Ramapo in the driver’s seat. Ramapo then won two out of the three matches that went in straight sets. Shamuradov was lights-out in a 6-1, 6-4, win at No. 2 over Gerstl, while Ramapo then stayed on top with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, by John Seaman over CSI’s Ruffe at No. 6. Next was Khodakov’s win at No. 3 over Hector Molina, 7-5, 6-2. That made the score 4-2 in favor of Ramapo.
That left the rest of field open, and CSI began to take charge. Nick Zikos in the pole position was the first to start the CSI comeback. Zikos dropped his first set to Clayton, 6-2, but Zikos charged back to score a 6-4 win in the second, forcing a third set. Zikos stayed on top most of the way, and scored an identical, 6-4, win to make it 4-3 Ramapo.
Then, rain began to threaten the match, so the final two flights were moved to indoors. There, Ursomanno, at No. 4, had dropped his first set, 6-0, but rallied to score a 6-4 winner in set two vs. Murphy. In a tough third set, Ursomanno won 6-4, forcing a 4-4 tie. Last but not least, defending CUNYAC Rookie of the Week Kolachok “James” Chuenpratum, pulled out the win for CSI. Chuenpratum won his first set over Giuliari, 6-2, but dropped set two, 6-4. The indoor move did well for the CSI freshman, as Chuenpratum scored a 6-3 winner in the third set, clinching the CSI win.
The CSI and Ramapo women also squared off on the afternoon, and there, the Roadrunners left little to doubt. CSI lost a heart-breaking, 9-7, decision at No. 2 Doubles, where Sabrina Bragerton-Nasert and Mediha Mulla fell to Sara Luby and Micala Demchak.
In Singles play, CSI took two of their matches into third sets before falling. Ilona Stoyko at No. 2 fell to Luby 6-2, 4-6, 10-3, while at No. 4 Jessica Barbatko fell to Katrina Biss, 6-2, 2-6, 10-5.
CSI men will be back in action on Friday at 3:30pm against Baruch at the CSI Tennis Center in a battle of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the CUNYAC.