The College of Staten Island men’s tennis team got back on the courts today for their CUNYAC opener and their home outdoor debut on the season, but it in the end, dropped a 6-3 decision at the hands of visiting Hunter College at the CSI Tennis Center.  The Hawks ran their record even to 2-2 overall and improved to 2-0 in conference play, while the Dolphins fell to 1-3, 0-1, respectively.

Doubles got underway first on the blustery afternoon, where the sun was shining but wind was playing havoc on the flight of the balls.  At the top spot, CSI’s team of Andrew Adia and Matthew Vesci got out in front early over Hunter’s Florimond Le Goupil-Maier and Nasser Ghaffar, but then the Hawks duo broke service and scored three-straight points en route to an 8-4 win.  Shortly after, however, CSI evened things up one rung lower in the No. 2 spot, where Chris Pinto and Raymond Hwang overcame some early struggles to win, 8-6, in their flight.

The wind was playing a factor in the third flight, where CSI’s Alex Tsui and Tao Lin were having trouble returning service while keeping their own serves in play, and it led to an 8-4 win by Hunter’s team of Joel Cantila and Ryan Hwang.

That put momentum back on Hunter’s end, and they certainly carried it with them in singles.  Starting before many of the other flights, Ghaffar at No.2 overcame an early surge by CSI’s Adia to win his set, 6-4, 6-1, and just moments later, HC’s Le Goupil-Maier won in the top spot, 6-0, 6-1.  It was only a few minutes later that Hunter clinched victory thanks to a 6-2, 6-1 win by Cantila over Vesci in the No. 3 spot.

The bottom of the order however, held promise for the Dolphins.  First, at No. 6, Tsui was crisp in a 6-1, 6-3, win over Ryan Hwang, and in a match that last almost two hours, CSI freshman Akaki Dundua was able to outlast HC’s Sadhra, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).  Finally, attention turned to No. 4, where Raymond Hwang was locked up with the Hawks’ Filip Kortiysskiy.  The volleys were long all game but Kortiysskiy did score a 6-2 win in the opener.  Hwang retaliated by taking the second set, forcing a third tiebreak.  There, Kortiysskiy was able to outlast Hwang, winning 10-7.  That gave Hunter the final winning standing at 6-3.

The Dolphins will now have the next two days off before returning to action for a pair of non-conference tests this weekend.  On Saturday, they face Sarah Lawrence College at home at 1pm, and on Sunday they travel to face Rutgers-Camden in a 12pm contest.