When thinking about Quinnipiac Athletics, the first thought in many student’s minds are basketball or hockey. This is understandable, as both of these teams are highly publicized and talked about. Both of these teams contend on a yearly basis, and are both poised to make runs at each of their tournaments at the end of the season. However, there are many other teams on campus, and one specifically, that warrants recognition. This is the men’s tennis team.
On Oct. 17, the Bobcats hosted the first annual Quinnipiac Invitational Men’s Tennis Tournament. Players from University of Connecticut, Fairfield University, Monmouth University, University of New Hampshire, St. Peter’s University, and Sacred Heart University came to compete in this event. Inspired by their home turf, the men dominated the early rounds of the tournament by going undefeated in nine matches. As if this single’s performance was not impressive, the Bobcats also managed to propel three of their five doubles team into the quarterfinals.
After a strong performance on Friday afternoon, the Bobcats continued to exert their power on the courts Saturday. The early 9 AM start had no effect on the team, as QU had at least one player in each of the six finals matches. Out of a total of 26 matches on Saturday, the Bobcats won 22, boosting their overall QU tournament record to 33-6. To put the Bobcats’ dominance into perspective, two of the four Bobcat losses on Saturday were to fellow teammates.
Not satisfied with their stellar play throughout the tournament, the Bobcats finished strong. The men were able to capture four of the six possible championships. Out of the twelve players competing in the championship round, nine were from QU.
Senior co-captain Eric Raymundo set a great example for the younger players by winning two of these championships, one singles and one doubles crown.
Promising freshman Andrew Chan also played strong, but lost to Gal Horovits of Monmouth in the finals.
Another talented freshman, Scott Salway, displayed his abilities as he was able to beat his junior teammate Fabian Villacis.
Freshman Juan O’Campos continued to exemplify the Bobcats talented youth movement by defeating his senior teammate Seth Hanapole to capture the Bobcat’s final championship.
Adding to the supreme weekend performance, Raymundo was named the Northeast Conference men’s tennis player of the week. He received the award after capturing two championships in the Quinnipiac Invitational Tournament. He began the Flight B singles bracket with a bye, and then proceeded to defeat Alex Kantarelis, from Sacred Heart, 6-7(5), 6-3(14-12), and Zack Morrison, of Fairfield, 6-4, 7-5. Raymundo won the championship by squeaking out a victory against his teammate Jonathan Russo 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Raymundo then teamed up with Chan to take the Flight A doubles crown. They defeated Sacred Heart’s Peter George and Alex Kantarelis 8-2, Fairfield’s Jonathan Fernando and Kevin Nyarody by default, Connecticut’s August Vorvis and Sam Sutherland 8-2, and Monmouth’s Gal Horovitz and Chris Sciarra 8-4 for the championship.
While this tournament marked the end of the men’s fall season, it left plenty of pride in the hearts of the Bobcats. They will have the next three months off to practice and prepare for their first spring match at Vermont on Feb. 7, 2004. Until then, the Bobcats can savor the sweet taste of a dominating victory at home.