FLUSHING, NY | The College of Staten Island men’s tennis team saw their run at a CUNYAC Championship end tonight, falling on the indoor courts of the National Tennis Center to top-seeded Baruch College by a 5-2 count. The Dolphins will finalize their 2019 campaign with an 11-3 record, advancing to the Final for the third time in their history, while Baruch (10-5) will advance to the NCAA Division III Postseason Championship Tournament beginning next weekend.
Despite the final score, it was CSI that owned the lead after Doubles play, as it took a great effort in Singles play, where Baruch took all four deciding matches, to take the final by a 5-2 count.
CSI’s wins in Doubles came at the Nos. 2-3 spots in the order. Those came after the strong play of Abhinav Srivastava and Leonard Margolis scored an 8-0 winner over Ivi Selenica and Alex Tsui in the top spot. It was No. 3 to then come to an end, but not after a strong back-and-forth match as Baruch’s Andrew Givelechian and Hudson Kaylie battled with CSI’s Raymond Hwang and Lesly DeCastro. After trading points, CSI was able to wrestle the lead and take control, ultimately scoring an 8-6 win.
Eyes then turned to the No. 2 spot, where Matthew Vesci and Tao Lin saw their match go into a tiebreaker with BC’s Michael Dozortsev and Clement Lacoundre. There, CSI was able to get out to a great start, and the team of Vesci and Lin would score a 7-3 winner to take a 2-1 overall lead.
From there, Baruch was the stronger side. Immediately, they would start to reel off points in each flight, and it wasn’t long before Kaylie would start the scoring with a 6-0, 6-0, winner over CSI’s Matthew Kotlyar at the No. 4 position. Moments later, BC’s Srivastava at No. 1 would come off with a 6-1, 6-0, win over Vesci, giving Baruch back the overall lead at 3-2.
Baruch seemed in control, and they took another step forward, when after a hard-fought, 7-5, win by Dozortsev in the first set at No. 3 over Hwang, he would win his second set easily, 6-1, to make it 4-2. Needing just one more flight to clinch, Baruch got it at No. 2, where Margolis would topple Selenica, 6-3, 6-2, to give the Bearcats the victory.
Left unfinished, Baruch was up in the No. 5 spot, as Jeremy Berman was ahead of Tsui, 7-6 (7-5), 5-1, and at No. 6, David Luo was up on DeCastro, 6-3, 5-5.
For the Dolphins, the end was bittersweet. CSI has been without a CUNYAC title since 2003, but CSI did reel off 11 wins in the debut season for Head Coach Ryan Frankel, their highest win total since the 2013 season.