Contributed by QU Athletics
The Quinnipiac men’s tennis team defeated Merrimack 4-3 on Saturday, the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Bobcats improved to 2-4 while the Warriors fell to 1-1.
Looking to bounce back after a tough loss to Fordham, Quinnipiac started off hot. It won two out of the three doubles matches to earn itself a point. Junior Kemal Karagozoglu and senior Alester Magalit held on to win their match 7-6 while graduate student Javier Casasolas Monllor and sophomore Shaurya Sood came from behind and snatched a 7-6 victory from the hands of defeat.
“So me and my partner Veer (Sood), we get along together on the court really well,” Monllor said. “So I didn’t really think much about the score, I knew that if we played our best tennis we could come back and get the set.”
The Warriors have been in Division I for only three years, but still put up a good fight. After the Bobcats took a 1-0 lead, the teams would trade wins, with the Bobcats taking the first. It all came down to Magalit, who played the No. 3 singles spot. The team score was tied at 3 apiece. Magalit would win the first set 7-6, then went down in the second set 5-3.
“I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of nervous going into it,” Magalit said. “I see boom (Karagozoglu) fighting as hard as he can and it kind of motivated me more to be like, ‘OK, I’m gonna step it up and I’m determined to get the win today, I want to beat the guy.’ I was able to deliver.”
After giving himself the pep talk, Magalit went on to win the next four sets. He secured the match for the Bobcats, 7-5. Quinnipiac head coach Chris Pappas said he had complete faith that Magalit would get the win for the Bobcats.
“I expect that out of him, he’s just been one of our toughest competitors out there no matter what spot he’s been in,” Pappas said. “He’s played as high as one in the lineup and he’s been down to three, so this isn’t really new for him.”
This, along with wins by sophomores Ayato Arakaki and Sood, helped the Bobcats secure the 4-3 victory. The Bobcats look to continue their win streak on Sunday, Feb. 20, as they are set to host LIU in North Haven.