The College of Staten Island men’s tennis team saw their 2015 campaign come to an end, falling to Baruch College in the semifinal round of the CUNYAC Postseason Championship Tournament by a 5-3 count. Down 3-0 after doubles, Baruch rallied to take five straight points in singles to garner the win, and will face Hunter College in the Final on Thursday. CSI finishes their season, 9-4.
The Dolphins were sky-high after taking a rather unlikely 3-0 lead after doubles. Baruch had taken two out of three doubles when the teams met in the regular season, and yet, CSI answered the call with big wins this time around.
The top position was decided on first, as CSI’s Ed Ruffe and Andrew Adia, got passed Jonathan Selegean and Chad Seaver by an 8-3 count. A few minutes later, the team of Austin Kapetanakis and Chris Livoti made it 2-0 when they slid by Samuel Hajibal and Dardan Sopjani, 8-5. Finally, the No. 3 unit of Raymond Hwang and Chris Pinto led a spirited charge over Allen Meyerovich and Arthur Rentzler, breaking a late tie to win that match, 8-6.
CSI had a huge advantage going into singles play, but slowly and steadily, Baruch chipped away and mounted their incredible comeback.
Sopjani got Baruch on the board first, working quickly in a 61-, 6-3, win over Adia in the No. 4 position. Literally moments later, Selegean in the top-spot rolled by CSI’s Ruffe, 6-1, 6-0, to make it 3-2 overall.
Right around the time CSI won its first singles set, by Hwang, 7-6 (7-4), over Meyerovich, Baruch’s Sharki Ahmed narrowly defeated Pinto in the first set at No. 6, 7-5, and then cruised to a 6-1 win in set two, evening the score at 3-3.
After a valiant try in the second set, No. 2 Chris Livoti was next to fall, dropping a 6-1, 6-4, decision to Hajibal. That made the score 4-3 in Baruch’s favor and now CSI was in a must-win situation. At No. 5, Hwang and Meyerovich were playing into a third set; while at No. 3 Kapetanakis was locked in with BC’s Rentzler. Rentzler won the opening set, 6-4, but Kapetanakis seemed poised for a comeback, leading 5-4 in the second set, about ready to force a tie. Rentzler, however, responded by scoring three straight points, winning the match 6-4, and 7-5, and stopping the match at that point, 5-3. At the time of the stoppage, Meyerovich was up, 3-2, in the third set against Hwang.
CSI’s season now ends at 9-4. Their only two losses to CUNYAC schools have come against Baruch. The Bearcats defeated CSI in regular season play, 6-3.