The men and women’s tennis teams opened up their first round of play in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships April 19 in hopes of bringing the title home to Drexel.
The tournament is being held on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. with quarterfinals beginning April 20, followed by the semi-finals April 21, and finally the Championship April 22.
The opening day matches had to be moved indoors due to wet courts in rainy Virginia.
The men fell to arch rival University of Delaware 4-1 in a first round matchup yesterday. The Dragons, who came in seeded ninth, were defeated by the eighth-seeded Blue Hens, who have now advanced to the quarterfinals for the eleventh consecutive year.
In the match of the day, Drexel pitted their top singles player, freshman Badr Ouabdelmoumen, against Delaware’s Troy Beneck. Both Beneck and Ouabdelmoumen carried singles winning streaks into the match, and unfortunately for Dragons fans, Beneck was able to extend his to four matches. Beneck defeated Ouabdemoumen 6-4,7-6 (4).
Along with Beneck’s win, the Blue Hens were able to win the first three singles matches with Adam Lawton defeating Jeganathan Srinivasan 6-2, 6-0, and Andre Vorobyov beating Skyler Davis 6-2,6-0.
The Dragons notched their sole singles win when Bryan Nguyen beat Nolan Gelman 7-6, 6-4.
The fifth match of the day went to a no decision between Ryan Kent of Delaware and Daniel Koehler of Drexel. Delaware capped of their big first round win with Jason Doran defeating Paul Stauskus 7-6(1), 6-1.
Delaware will meet No. 2 seed Virginia Commonwealth University tomorrow.
The Drexel women faired better than the men as they were able to advance to the quarterfinals after narrowly defeating Towson University 4-3.
In an extremely exciting match, the teams split the first six singles matches, making the No. 3 doubles match the deciding factor.
The Dragons started the day off right with a win at first singles when Sonja Stosic defeated Aandria Carr, 6-1, 6-2, and then they continued their success at the second spot with Zeynep Mafa beating Nani Lizana, 6-0, 6-2.
The middle of the Tigers order seemed to be stronger as they took singles matches three, four and five, with Nisha Shah defeating Marcela Rosales, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, Ayana Dow taking down Emma Brook 6-4, 6-4 and Andrea Sumlin knocking off Alexandra Bell, 6-2, 6-2.
In the sixth singles match the Dragons knotted things up with Nicole Pivonka beating Towson’s Ariel Burke, 6-3, 6-2. This set up the pivotal doubles matches.
Mafa and Stosic were paired up in the first doubles match and had no trouble with Dow and Burke, putting the Dragons ahead by one. In the second doubles match, Towson roared back with Sumlin and Lizana beating Rosales and Elise Leizerovich 8-4.
In the deciding match, the Dragons pairing of Pivonka and Brook were able to take down Towson’s duo of Shah and Carr, 8-4, allowing Drexel’s women to advance to the quarterfinals.
Drexel will meet the top seeded Virginia Commonwealth April 20 in the quarterfinals where they hope to keep their season alive for another day.