The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

SJU tennis back in action at Princeton

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Photo/Athletic Communications

The St. John’s men’s tennis team opened up their 2016 season with notable singles and doubles performances at the Ivy-Plus Invitational, hosted by Princeton University over this past weekend.

“Overall we had a good weekend against a lot of high-level competition. I feel our results were good and showed we can compete with top teams from around the country,” Assistant Coach Cory Hubbard said in a press release.

Sophomores Dusan Vukicevic and Luka Sucevic were victorious in the Dillon draw, the doubles win was the highlight of the weekend for the Red Storm.

“The highlight was Luka and Dusan winning the doubles tournament. They grew up playing together so they have really good chemistry,” Hubbard said. “They were down big in the first round and in the final, but once they played with more energy and emotion they were on a different level. They won two matches in tiebreakers, and showed they can handle the pressure. It is always a big deal to win an event so we are very proud of them.”

Vukicevic and Sucevic won their first match against Princeton’s Vives/Kaiser doubles pair, 8-7. They went on to defeat Haworth/Arocho of Brown, 8-5, before being victorious in the finals against Yale’s Doehler/Wang.

Roberto Livi and Daniel Skripnik also played in the Dillon Draw, winning their first doubles match against Shatalin/Pompan on Penn, 8-4.

Skripnik, Sucevic and Andrei Crapcenco all had undefeated performances in the back draws of singles; St. John’s won a combined nine matches in singles play. The trio of Skripnik, Sucevic and Crapcenco went a combined 7-4 in their draws.

“In singles play, we were able to get a lot of tough matches and each guy was able to pick up some wins and confidence. [Roberto Livi] played a great match and lost in three sets to the top player in the region, and a guy who has been in the top-30 nationally. It shows he has the talent level and is close to a big breakthrough,” Hubbard said. “All the other guys had solid performances and beat quality opponents. These events to start the season are more about developing the players than wins, so we got to see areas we need to improve individually to get to the next level.”

Skripnik split his first two matches in the Cordish Draw before defeating Dmitry Shatalin (Penn), 6-3, 6-1, and Josh Yablon (Princeton), 6-4, 6-2, in the back draw. Sucevic rallied in the back draw play of the Lenz Draw after his initial two losses against Fedor Andrienko (Yale) and Aws Larribi (Penn State).

Crapcenco went 2-0 in the consolation bracket of the Penn Singles #1 draw en route to a consolation finals victory.

The Red Storm’s next appearance will be at the ITA All-American Championships on October 1, in Tulsa, Okla.

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