The Ithaca College men’s tennis team picked up a win Saturday, beating the Nazareth College Golden Flyers 6-3. The win helps the Bombers improve to 3–1 in Empire 8 play.
The Blue and Gold got off to a great start, sweeping doubles 3-0. They got a boost from senior Kyle Reither, who played in his first match of the season while competing in doubles. Head Coach Bill Austin said he was really excited to see him out there.
“It was good to see him out there,” Austin said. “He responded and the team responded. It was a great boost of energy to start the day.”
The Blue and Gold’s 3-0 start in doubles, something they have previously struggled with, set them up nicely to head into singles play. This was a key match against a team that is even to their skill level.
“Anytime we can get up 3-0 it is easier,” sophomore Justin Levine said. “There were a couple of tight singles matches that could have gone either way so we needed that.”
In singles, the Golden Flyers didn’t make it easy. Junior Griffin Reid lost the first match (6-0, 6-1). Levine and freshman Chris Hayes had solid showings in second and third singles, which clinched the match for them.
Hayes got ahead in third singles and didn’t look back, winning in straight sets (6-1, 6-2). Hayes said everything was working for him.
“My passing shots worked very well today,” he said. “My movement was great and my forehand was clicking, probably one of my best matches of the year.
Levine’s match on the other hand wasn’t so easy. It took the sophomore a third set tiebreaker to finally win his match. Levine said it wasn’t an easy win, but he tried to stay as consistent as possible and that helped him.
“I was trying to push him around the court,” he said. “I started using the slice effectively to bring him to the net and I just grinded out a tough win.”
This was a big win for the Bombers against a team that will be competing for second place in the Empire 8. Austin said he saw a more confident team out there.
“The guys played well,” he said. “We gained little bit more confidence with doubles and hopefully we’ll build on that over the next couple of weeks.”
The Bombers next match is Sunday at 1 p.m. at Alfred State. The Saxons are currently 1–2 in the conference.