Colonials open season with 7-2 loss at Purchase College

from the desk of Bobby Ciafardini - Purchase SID


PURCHASE, NY (Mar. 13) — The Purchase College men's tennis collected its second win of the season Tuesday, rolling to a 7-2 victory over Western Connecticut State University – a program that finished as runners-up in the Little East Conference a spring ago.

In the process, the Panthers improved to 2-1 overall and picked up their first home win of the season, while handing non-conference power WestConn its first loss of 2012. The Colonials were playing their season opener Tuesday afternoon at Purchase after narrowly falling in the title game in 2011.

“This is another big victory for our team,” said Purchase head coach Peter Nestel. “WestConn is a terrific program and this is a great win, especially this early in the season and how it relates to us moving forward.”

Purchase, which defeated rival Bard College last time out, is now sporting a mini two-match win streak following Tuesday's final.

The Panthers set the tone early with a sweep of doubles, highlighted by a gritty showing from the tandem of Chris Matchneer (JR/Larchmont, NY) and Ben Ekis (SR/Rochester, NY) at No. 3. The two topped WestConn's Enea Dervishi and Sam Brodax 9-8 (7-3).

Brenden Keeling (JR/Ontario, Canada) and Roger King* (JR/Yonkers, NY) dispatched Austin Werner and Matt Romano at No. 1 doubles, earning an 8-4 win, while promising rookie Jeremyah Schur (FR/Forest Hills, NY) and veteran Maxim Luiggi* (SR/Paris, France) paired for an 8-1 margin at No. 2.

With the Panthers leading 3-0, the singles went to work. The bottom of the order once again shined, with newcomer Simon Lai (JR/Garrison, NY) overcoming a nagging ankle injury to win 7-5, 6-2 at No. 6 singles. Rookie Michael Sorge (FR/Bronx, NY) also won in straight sets, downing Dervishi 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4.

Sorge has recovered well from an early season injury and appears to be settling in nicely at fourth singles. The talented Ekis wrapped up a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 5 as the Panthers kept rolling in the matchup.

The Colonials bounced back at No. 3 singles behind Kyle Wilson, who won 6-3, 6-4. But Schur's win at No. 2 – a 6-1, 6-1 showing over Ryan Klem – sealed any comeback efforts by WestConn.

The longest match of the afternoon belonged to Keeling and Werner, who battled in an intense serve and volley in a matchup of elite No. 1s. Werner narrowly prevailed 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) in a contest that was decided by tiebreakers.

Tennis Match Results
Western Connecticut Men vs PURCHASE COLLEGE PANTHERS
Mar 13, 2012 at Purchase, NY
(Purchase College)

PURCHASE COLLEGE PANTHERS 7, Western Connecticut Men 2

Singles competition
1. Austin Werner (WCSU) def. Keeling, Brenden (PUR-MTN) 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4)
2. Schur, Jeremyah (PUR-MTN) def. Ryan Klem (WCSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. Kyle Wilson (WCSU) def. King, Roger (PUR-MTN) 6-3, 6-4
4. Sorge, Michael (PUR-MTN) def. Enea Dervishi (WCSU) 6-2, 6-1
5. Ekis, Ben (PUR-MTN) def. Matt Romano (WCSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Lai, Simon (PUR-MTN) def. Sam Brodax (WCSU) 7-5, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Keeling, Brenden/King, Roger (PUR-MTN) def. Austin Werner/Matt Romano (WCSU) 8-4
2. Schur, Jeremyah/Luiggi, Maxim (PUR-MTN) def. Ryan Klem/Kyle Wilson (WCSU) 8-1
3. Ekis, Ben/Matchneer, Chris (PUR-MTN) def. Enea Dervishi/Sam Brodax (WCSU) 9-8 (7-3)

Match Notes:
Western Connecticut Men 0-1
Official: None T-3:10 A-12