Men’s tennis wins against Holy Cross, falls to Army in League play opener

Bri Pomonis, Sports Co-Editor

The men’s tennis team traveled to West Point, N.Y. on March 26 to open Patriot League play against Army and Holy Cross. With the Bison extending their all-time series record to 11-0 against Holy Cross and adding another loss to their 3-30 record against Army, history proved to repeat itself again this season.

The Bison entered the day having won three out of their last five matches, improving to a 5-13 record, and were eager to maintain the upward swing. The team is seeking to improve last season’s 2-3 record against Patriot League opponents.

“This year has been incredibly tough in regards to our schedule. We constantly played tough teams, some of them ranked as high as ninth in the country, and all 19 matches we had until this weekend were technically away matches. Playing Patriot League opponents came as a relief,” Andrei Vitiuc ’19 said.

The Bison first squared up against Army West Point, who took first place in the Patriot League preseason poll. Army dominated play, resulting in a 4-0 loss for the Orange and Blue.

“Army has been a pretty strong team for the past couple of years, but we have been very close to beating them with two 4-2 losses in the semi-final of the Patriot League Tournament the past two years,” Daniel Wright ’18 said. Unfortunately, the Bison could not continue that trend in this match.

Despite the numbers suggesting otherwise, several players managed to put up a fight until the end. Wright was tied 1-1 against a 2016 Second Team All-Patriot League selection, and trailed 3-2 in the third set before losing. Bryan Adams ’17 was also tied 1-1, but fell 2-0 in the final set.

The Bison made a swift comeback against Holy Cross with a 4-0 shutout. A team of Vitiuc and Adams joined forces to tally a 6-2 win, followed by pair Max Palmer ’20 and Wright with a 6-2 victory. Palmer proceeded to tally the first singles victory by 6-0, 6-1 scores, reinforced by 6-0, 6-2 wins from Colin Sacco ’20.

“We haven’t played Holy Cross much of late, but I was happy to see everyone come out and compete fiercely nonetheless, as they are a much-improved team in the league. On the contrary, we have a bitter recent history with Army … we fell to them in the Patriot League Semifinals the last two years in heartbreaking fashion, and we often play some of our best tennis against them,” Adams said.

The weekend’s results improved the team’s record to 6-14 overall and 1-1 in Patriot League play. The team travels to Baltimore to face Morgan State, Coppin State, and Patriot League opponent Loyola (Md.) from March 31 to April 1.

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