Tennis Proving Itself

According to conventional wisdom, ivy-league schools may be ahead of St. John’s academically, but this weekend the Columbia Classic proved that athletically, St. John’s is on the same level.

The men’s tennis team participated in the competition last weekend and took home mixed results. The tournament, which was held at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center, was hosted by Columbia University and took place between Jan. 26 and 28. The St. John’s senior captain, Louis Desmarteaux, was seeded third and finished the tournament in second place in the singles competition.

Desmarteaux defeated three ivy-league opponents before falling to Columbia’s Mark Clemente (6-3, 6-4). On his way to the finals against Clemente, Desmarteaux defeated Harvard’s Scott Deneberg (6-4, 7-5, 6-1) in the opening round, Princeton’s George Carpeni (6-1, 6-3) in the quarterfinals and Columbia’s Jared Drucker (6-7, 7-5, 6-4) in the semifinals.
Desmarteaux also teamed up with Alex Svetlakov to form the Red Storm’s No. 1 doubles team. The pair defeated Manhattan’s David and Diego Alvarado (8-0) in the first round. Columbia’s Justin Chow and Drucker fell next to St. John’s in the quarterfinals 8-4. The St. John’s pair ultimately fell to Columbia’s Jonathan Wong and Clemente in the semifinal round by the final score of 8-5.

St. John’s also had other participants in singles action. In the A flight singles, sophomore Artem Vlasenko defeated Columbia’s Marty Moore, (7-6, 7-5), to advance to the quarterfinals but fell to top-seeded Chris Clayton of Harvard, 6-0, 6-4.

In the B bracket, freshman Martin Kosut defeated Yale’s Josh Lederman 6-2, 7-5 in the first round. Vlasenko then fell to Manhattan College’s Zoltan Bus, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Sophomore Alex Svetlakov rebounded from a three-set loss on Friday to Columbia’s Michael Accordino, 6-1, 0-6, 6-2, to take the consolation bracket. Svetlakov defeated Yale’s Matt Schimmel, 7-5, 6-2, and Columbia’s Justin Chow, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2. Svetlakov lost in the final match to Jonathan Wong in the finals, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

In other doubles action, the Red Storm’s Tom Green and Derek Wallensteen fell to Harvard’s Scott Deneberg and Chris Clayton, 8-2.