On a cold and blustery day at the College of Staten Island, the Dolphins delivered in their home opener, turning back CUNYAC-rival City College of New York by an 8-1 score at the CSI Tennis Center. CSI lifted their mark to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in CUNYAC play, while the Beavers fell to 1-2, 0-2, respectively.
Play started with doubles and in the second and third flights, CSI left little to doubt. In the No. 2 spot, the duo of Ed Ruffe and James Chuenpratum won first, taking an 8-1 win over CCNY’s Syed Haider and Pavel Shapturenka. One flight down, it took a little longer, but the CSI team of Austin Kapetanakis and Jack Benjamin scored a shutout, winning, 8-0, over the Beavers’ Sallem Ahmed and Rezwan Islam.
In one of the most competitive battles of the afternoon, No. 1 Doubles was a back-and-forth affair. CCNY’s Michael Arias and David Arroyave scored first, but CSI’s Timur Shamuradov and Dan Ursomanno battled back to knot the score. From there, Arias and Arroyave turned on the pressure, forcing CSI mistakes and taking a 4-1 lead. From there though, CSI reached back and found their rhythm, going on the offensive, and winning seven of the next eight points, ultimately winning, 8-5.
CSI was just as crisp in Singles. Ursomanno, Kapetanakis, Ruffe, Chuenpratum and Joel Youngberry would all win in straight sets. CCNY got their lone win at No. 1 Singles, as Arroyave defeated Shamuradov, 6-2, in the first set before Shamuradov would ultimately retire with the match well in hand.
The win for CSI was their first of the year after three straight losses in Orlando, Florida. CSI will have another long lay-off, and will next play at St. Joseph’s College of Patchogue on Sunday, March 30, at 1pm in Long Island.