Freshman Mike Lampa led the St. John’s men’s tennis team last weekend at the USTA nvitational in Flushing by winning his pool in singles and teaming up with senior Derek Wallensteen to win his doubles pool as well.
In their last tournament, the Farnsworth Invitational, Lampa and Wallensteen had relative success, winning two doubles matches. This weekend, the tandem improved upon its previous performance, winning all three of the matches to take the bracket.The tournament gave Lampa, another opportunity to learnfrom a more seasoned player in Wallensteen.
“It’s great playing with Derek,” Lampa said, “He’s very experienced. He knows what to do at critical points, and he usually calls all the plays we do before every point.”
In singles, Lampa also took a big step forward from his last tournament, where he won a match and lost a match. In this tournament, however, he was nothing short of dominant, winning all four of his matches.
Taking only eight sets to win his bracket, Lampa didn’t drop a single set to any of his opponents. None of his opponents ever got closer than a 6-4 loss in any of the sets.
“I just focused on all of the matches that I played,” Lampa said. “It was a solid weekend for me, things were just going my way.”
The team’s next tournament is the Columbia Invitational in New York Oct. 9-11. Though it is still two weeks away, Lampa, who expects to play singles and doubles at Columbia as well, is ready to “carry the success from this tournament onto the next tournament.”
Despite his success, Lampa still thinks there is work to be done before Columbia.
“There’s still a couple of things that coach wants me to work on, such as my serve,” Lampa said, “It’s back to the drawing board to fix some things that I’m not really good at.”
Lampa also commented on the amount of downtime he has before his next tournament, saying he needs to “stay focused throughout the two weeks and make sure I’m ready for the next tournament.”
In other tournament action, Sophomore Milo Hauk won three matches before falling in the semi-finals.
Junior Pavel Cerny battled an injury in the early part of the tournament, reaching the quarterfinals of his pool. In doubles, these two reached the third round. The doubles team of sophomore Keith Whittingham and senior Martin Kosut also reached the third round.