The College of Staten Island men’s tennis squad had its run towards a CUNYAC Championship halted this afternoon, falling to top-seeded Baruch College in the CUNYAC/Hospital for Special Surgery Championship Semifinals by a 5-1 count at Queens College in Queens, NY. The Dolphins saw their three-game win streak halted and fell to 5-9 overall with the loss, while the Bearcats improved to 12-1 overall, and will meet Hunter College in the Championship Final on Thursday evening.
Play began with doubles and from the outset it looked as if the chips would be stacked against CSI, as they were without their top singles and doubles player, Timur Shamuradov, due to outside commitments. That gave Baruch College an advantage at the top, where at No. 1 the BC team of Jonathan Selegean and Joe Laskowski shook off an early, 3-3, stalemate, to score an 8-3 win over CSI’s top team of Daniel Ursomanno and Austin Kapetanakis. One flight lower, the BC team of Christopher Jenkins and Philip Bleustein breezed by CSI’s duo of Chris Pinto and Mitchell Voloshin, 8-0.
CSI seemed to get a huge lift in the No. 3 Doubles position where Ed Ruffe and James Chuenpratum took center stage with Baruch’s Samuel Hajibei and David Alabo. The Bearcats got off to a quick, 3-0, edge in the set, but the Dolphins battled back to tie at 3-3. CSI finally got their lead late in the set, 6-5, and then, with Ruffe serving at 7-6, the Dolphins put the Bearcats away, winning the set, 8-6. That gave CSI their lone point.
Fortunately for Baruch, the point mattered little when it came to singles. Jenkins at No. 3 scored a quick, 6-0, 6-2, winner over Kapetanakis, who, upon the conclusion of the match was issued a point penalty for poor behavior. One flight higher, Laskowski powered to a 6-0, 6-0, win over Pinto moments later, putting Baruch on the brink of clinching. A few minutes later Alabo put the cap on the game at No. 6 Singles, scoring a 6-1, 6-1, win over Joel Youngberry. That gave Baruch the 5-1, whereupon the match was halted.
At the time of match suspension, Baruch had a one-set lead at Nos. 1, 4, and 5 Singles.
For the Dolphins, their season ends at 5-9, having finished 4-3 in CUNYAC play. The Bearcats will go on to face No. 2 Hunter College, a very impressive 6-0 winner over Brooklyn College in the second semifinal played today at Queens College. The Final is set for 5pm on Thursday, May 1 at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.