NEW YORK, N.Y. – Sophomore Jason Prezant (Montvale, N.J. (Pascack Hills) scored a three-set win at No. 6 singles but the Monmouth University men’s tennis team fell to Columbia, 6-1, Monday afternoon, in its spring opener at the Dick Savitt Tennis Center. The Hawks, competing in their first dual match of the season, fall to 0-1 with the loss, while the Lions, who were ranked No. 42 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Rankings, improve to 2-0 with the victory.
"This was a great experience for our guys to play against a nationally ranked team,” commented head coach Cory Hubbard. “It was a tough way to start the season with a match against such a good team without any prior matches, but it was better than any practice we could have had. We have such a young team so getting dual match experiences under our belts will help when we play Lehigh."
Prezant moved to 4-1 on the year in singles matches, holding off Columbia’s Chris Sebaitis. The sophomore won the opening set 6-3, before falling in the second set 1-6. Prezant edged Sebaitis in the third and final set, 11-9 to earn the Hawks’ lone point.
Hubbard added, "I was extremely proud of Jason for pulling out a win. He showed the most energy of any of our guys and set a great example for the way I want all my players to compete."
In doubles play, junior Freddy Marcinkowski (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) and freshman Christian Vieria (Houston, Texas/Memorial) nearly stunned the Lions’ No. 1 double tandem of Max Schnur and Ashok Naryama, falling to the ITA’s 14th-ranked doubles squad, 6-5 in a tiebreaker.
"Freddy and Christian had the opportunity to play against the defending National Champion doubles team and played well,” continued Hubbard. “After getting down 3-0, they started to relax and kept competing hard and almost pulled off the upset. It's unfortunate they lost in a tiebreaker, but it should give them a lot of confidence and shows they can play with any team in the country."
The Hawks travel to Bethlehem, Pa., on Sunday, January 26 for a non-conference tilt with Lehigh. First serve against the Mountain Hawks is slated for noon.
Tennis Match Results
Monmouth vs Columbia
Jan 20, 2014 at New York, N.Y.
#42 Columbia 6, Monmouth 1
1. Vancura, Bert (COLUMBIA) def. Marcinkowski, Freddy (MU) 6-2, 6-1
2. Vermeer, Mike (COLUMBIA) def. Kumthonkittikul, Bee (MU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Pham, Richard (COLUMBIA) def. (MU) 6-2, 6-1
4. Hadavi, Shawn (COLUMBIA) def. Vieira, Christian (MU) 6-0, 6-4
5. Morgan, Daniel (COLUMBIA) def. Bekhiet, Ramy (MU) 6-2, 6-1
6. Prezant, Jason (MU) def. Sabaitis, Chris (COLUMBIA) 6-3, 1-6, 11-9
1. Schnur, Max/Narayana, Ashok (COLUMBIA) def. Vieira, Christian/Marcinkowski, Freddy (MU) 6-5
2. Vancura, Bert/Rubin, Eric (COLUMBIA) def. Kumthonkittikul, Bee/ (MU) 6-0
3. Jacobs, Eric/Lemann, Marc (COLUMBIA) def. Bekhiet, Ramy/Prezant, Jason (MU) 6-3