Quinnipiac men’s tennis drops crucial match to Fairfield Thursday


Peyton McKenzie

Quinnipiac men’s tennis drops to No. 3 in the MAAC standings with the loss to Fairfield.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

GUILFORD, Conn. – In a matchup between the Quinnipiac men’s tennis team and the No. 2 Fairfield Stags, the Bobcats fell to the Stags 4-3 Thursday afternoon, dropping the Bobcats from No. 1 in the MAAC to No. 3.

The two teams split the opening doubles matches, with Quinnipiac senior Kemal Karagozoglu and junior Shaurya Sood picking up a dominant 6-2 win in the No. 1 spot over Fairfield senior Jonathan Olive-Blanco and graduate student Tolunay Sumer. The Stags returned the favor in the No. 2 spot, as Quinnipiac juniors Ayato Arakaki and Donovan Brown fell to Fairfield freshman Kostas Kollias and junior Keean Shah 6-4.

With a split in the first two duels, the doubles round was set to be decided by the third round. Quinnipiac graduate student Andreas Whalen-Merediz and freshman Csanad Nyaradi battled Fairfield freshman Alex Aguiar and graduate student Kaya Gore. With a huge point on the line, the two sides battled back-and-forth, trading leads and eventually needing a tiebreaker to determine a winner. The Stags dominated the tiebreaker, taking the No. 3 spot with a 7-6 win, and earning the doubles point.

In singles action, Brown — who previously lost his doubles match — earned the Bobcats their first point of the afternoon with a quick 6-2, 6-1 win over Shah in straight sets.

After leveling the contest at one, Karagozoglu was defeated in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 by Kollias in the No. 5 spot, who completed a sweep of the doubles and singles matches with the victory, tying the contest at three.

The Stags took a 3-1 lead in the No. 6 spot as Nyardi never stood a chance. Fairfield senior Griffin Schlesinger dominated Nyardi in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

The two victories gave Fairfield a 3-1 advantage with the other three singles matches still in progress.

In a rematch of the doubles match, Sood faced off with Sumer in the third spot. Unlike doubles play, Sumer dominated the match and secured the victory for Fairfield as the visitors took a 4-1 advantage. The Wingate, North Carolina, native dominated Sood in straight sets, winning 6-3 in both. The two exchanged words over a disagreement in an out-of-bounds call, which seemingly carried over from the doubles match earlier. Sood was frustrated following the second set, batting his hat with his racquet, which earned him a point penalty from officials.

Albeit the contest already being decided, Quinnipiac did its best to battle back. Arakaki fell behind early in the No. 1 spot, with Olive-Blanco winning the first set 6-2. However, with a huge second point on the line, the junior battled back with a 6-4 win in set two and then a 7-5 win in set three to level the score at one apiece.

After losing the winner-take-all doubles match earlier in the day, Whalen-Merediz redeemed himself with a win in singles play. Similar to Arakaki, the London product dropped set one 6-2 to Gore, before squeaking out a 6-5 win in set two. Gore was forced to retire in set three, giving Whalen-Merediz the victory.

Quinnipiac wraps up the regular season on Saturday, as the Bobcats travel to Poughkeepsie, New York, to face Marist at 3 p.m with everything on the line. A win would secure a spot in the MAAC tournament for Quinnipiac, while a loss would take the Bobcats’ destiny out of their own hands.