NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. – With the score knotted at 3-3, junior Victor Pugliese (Boulogne, France/CNED [San Diego]) won his seventh straight match at No. 1 singles to propel the Monmouth University men’s tennis team to a 4-3 win at Niagara, Saturday afternoon in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. The win, the Hawks’ fourth-straight, evens their overall record at 6-6 and pushes their conference mark to 2-0, while the Purple Eagles fall to 7-8 on the year and 1-2 in conference action.
"This was a huge win for our program over a very good Niagara team,” said Head Coach Cory Hubbard. “We played our best doubles of the season and it was the difference. I am proud how hard the team has been working and now we are starting to play our best tennis and really believing. We have a stretch of a lot of matches in a short period so we have to do the little things that make us who we are to keep the streak going."
With the decisive point on the line, Pugliese won his opening set 6-1 over Michael Elortegui before falling in a tiebreaker in the second set, 7-6 (5). The junior transfer settled and cruised to a 6-3 win in the final set to give the Blue and White the victory. Pugliese, who is 9-1 in his last 10 matches, now stands at 15-4 in singles matches in his first year in a MU uniform.
"Victor did a great job staying poised when all the pressure was on him being the last match,” added Hubbard. “He played fearless and his experience showed."
MU opened the scoring in doubles play, jumping ahead 1-0. Freshmen Bee Kumthonkittikul (Bangkok, Thailand/Pendleton School) and Przemyslaw Filipek (Bedzin, Poland/Second Lo [Silesia]) earned a 8-3 win over Mathieu Lacasse and Lorenz Schwojer at No. 3 before Freddy Marcinkowski (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) and Ramy Bekhiet (Robbinsville, N.J./Robbinsville) edged David Raymond and Olivier Dufour-Coursol at No. 2, 8-6, to clinch the point.
After Schowjer downed Luke Adamus (Mosman, New South Wales/Redlands) at No. 5 to begin singles play, rookie Christian Vieira (Houston, Texas/Memorial) notched a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 6 to put the Hawks up 2-1. Niagara answered with a win at No. 4 to tie the score once again, but the Hawks regained the lead with Filipek’s 6-1, 7-6 (4) win at No. 2 over Inaki Belloso. The Purple Eagles’ would have an answer once again as Raymond topped Kumthonkittikul at No. 3 to set up Pugliese’s deciding match.
The Hawks will look for its fifth-straight win when it travels to former conference foe Sacred Heart on Tuesday, April 1st. First serve from Fairfield, Connecticut is slated for 2 p.m.
Tennis Match Results
Monmouth vs Niagara University
Mar 29, 2014 at North Tonawanda, N.Y.
Monmouth 4, Niagara University 3
1. Pugliese, Victor (MU) def. Elortegui, Michael (NIA) 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3
2. Filipek, Przemyslaw (MU) def. Belloso, Inaki (NIA) 6-1, 7-6 (6-4)
3. Raymond, David (NIA) def. Kumthonkittikul, Bee (MU) , 7-6 (7-4)
4. Dufour-Coursol, O. (NIA) def. Marcinkowski, Freddy (MU) 6-4, 7-6 (7-1)
5. Schwojer, Lorenz (NIA) def. Adamus, Luke (MU) 6-3, 6-3
6. Vieira, Christian (MU) def. Lacasse, Mathieu (NIA) 6-4, 6-2
1. Belloso, Inaki/Elortegui, Michael (NIA) vs. Pugliese, Victor/Vieira, Christian (MU) unfinished
2. Marcinkowski, Freddy/Bekhiet, Ramy (MU) def. Raymond, David/Dufour-Coursol, O. (NIA) 8-6
3. Kumthonkittikul, Bee/Filipek, Przemyslaw (MU) def. Lacasse, Mathieu/Schwojer, Lorenz (NIA) 8-3
Monmouth 6-6, 2-0 MAAC
Niagara University 7-8, 1-2 MAAC
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (5,6,4,2,3,1)