Men’s tennis wins seventh straight

The men’s tennis team continues to roll over the competition, as they notched their seventh consecutive win, this time over Manhattan College 4-3 Tuesday in a match that literally came down to the wire.

St. John’s men’s tennis coach Eric Rebhuhn stated that the win “felt great”, especially against a team that had beaten them in previous years.

“I’m definitely proud,” Rebhuhn said. “We were down and we fought back really hard at the end.”

A strong collective effort by the six-member doubles team won them the doubles point, putting the Johnnies up 1-0 overall midway through the match, winning on all three courts. St. John’s best performing doubles team, sophomore Artem Vlasenko and senior Claudio Halim, defeated Manhattan seniors David Alvarado and Diego Alvarado. The duo held the Alvarados to only two points as the match closed 8-2.

Manhattan College won the first game of the singles match after defeating St. John’s 7-5 in the first set. Only one set was played because St. John’s senior Louie Desmarteaux had to retire because of an injured forearm. Vlasenko’s singles match against Manhattan College’s freshman Mihai Nichifor, winning both sets in a best of three, brought St. John’s overall score up one, 2-1.

But things seemed all too close to a loss for St. John’s when the next two singles matches went to Manhattan College, putting St. John’s at a 2-3 deficit.

St. John’s came back from behind with senior Tom Green’s win over Manhattan’s two-time MAAC player of the year Zoltan Bus tied the overall score 3-3, winning all three sets of his singles match.

But it was the clutch performance of sophomore Jordan Talbot that clinched the win for St. John’s in the last set of his singles match against junior Filip Szymik. Talbot seized the last singles point for St. John’s, winning the third set 6-3 after being tied 1-1 with Szymik in the previous two sets.

“It was huge” Rebhuhn said. “[Talbot] really came through.”
The men’s team record now stands at 11-6, 3-1 in the Big East. They play Big East rival UConn on Thursday.

??Desmarteaux is expected back for the Clemson game on Friday at Boston College.

??The Red Storm has three more games left in the season before the Big East tournament in Tampa, Florida on April 20.