A clear day on the South Hill enabled the Ithaca College men’s tennis team to sweep Empire 8 conference opponent Houghton College 9–0 on the Wheeler Tennis Courts. The Bombers improve to 2–0 in conference play, 6–3 overall, and leaves the Highlanders 2–1 in conference and 9–3 overall.
The Bombers gained the lead early over the Highlanders, grabbing three wins in each of the doubles flights.
Second flight tandem, senior Nathan Wolf and freshman Sam McGrath, posted the best score for doubles. The pair defeated junior Michael Cha and freshman Jake Fisler of Houghton 8–2.
First and third flight doubles for the Blue and Gold were not far behind with their victories. First flight pair, senior Wes Davis and junior Lorenzo Viguie-Ramos bested Highlanders’ sophomore Zach Shilvock and junior Jordan Crouch, 8–3. Freshmen Liam Spiegel and Max Prestwich at third flight took an 8–4 win over junior pair Holden Cole and Bjorn Webb of Houghton.
“We have been very strong in doubles this year so far, we’re just solidifying that,” senior Brandon Buksbaum said. “In singles, we’re improving and doing a lot better.”
Momentum from doubles play helped smooth the path for strong singles play.
Three fast flights for the Bombers were in the second, third and sixth flights. Davis in second flight defeated Crouch, 6–0, 6–2. Wolf in the third flight defeated Cha in two quick 6–0 sets. In the sixth flight, Buksbaum, who defeated Cole in Buksbaum’s first singles match of the season, in two 6–1 sets.
The most riveting match of the day was played between Spiegel and Webb in the fifth flight. Spiegel pulled out an early 6–2 first set win but couldn’t capture the second one as easily. Webb forced the second set to go into a tiebreaker at 6–all but could not come out on top as Spiegel clinched the win with a 7–2 tiebreaker.
“We knew that we had to bring our A-game and we did,” assistant coach Jordon Smith said. “We had a strong start in doubles and in singles we kept it rolling.”
The Blue and Gold gear up for a non-conference match at 9 a.m. April 8, against The College of New Jersey in Ewing, New Jersey.