The College of Staten Island men’s tennis squad will be making its way to another City University of New York Athletic Conference Final appearance, taking a 5-2 win over No. 3 John Jay College as part of semifinal play at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York. The Dolphins improved to 11-7 on the season as will advance to face top-seeded Baruch College, a 5-1 winner over Hunter College in their semi.
CSI got off to a great start, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in doubles. At No. 3, the Dolphins duo of Hector Molina and Ed Ruffe took down the Bloodhounds’ Stephen Walz and Frontisek Demek by an 8-4 count. Moments later and one flight higher, the team of Daniel Ursomanno and Austin Kapetanakis scored an identical 8-4 winner over JJC’s Yevgeniy Remennik and Luis Chirinos.
John Jay was able to get on the board in the top spot. CSI’s top team of Nick Zikos and Timur Shamuradov came within striking distance, but were on the short end of a 9-7 decision at the hands of Erkut Cakmak and Montes De Oca.
Play shifted to singles, and CSI needed three of the six individual flights to punch their ticket to the Final. CSI’s got on their way with a quick win in the No. 2 spot, as Shamuradov defeated Chirinos, 6-0, 6-1. Then, with the score at 3-1, CSI scored another win one flight lower, when Molina scored a 6-3, 6-2, winner over Derrick Chung. That put the Dolphins on the cusp of victory, but a Cakmak win at No. 1 over Zikos by a 6-3, 6-2, count, kept JJC alive, making the score 4-2.
The Dolphins got the clincher they needed down at No. 6, where Ruffe powered to a 6-2, 6-4, win over Demek. That was enough to get CSI to the next step. At the time the match was halted was ahead in the Nos. 4-5 flights, having won the first set in each.
The win for the Dolphins will pit them against top-seeded Baruch College in the final. Baruch defeated CSI, 7-2, during the regular season, en route to an undefeated CUNYAC campaign. Start time is set for 5pm at the National Tennis Center on Thursday, May 2.