PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Monmouth University men's tennis team earned its first victory of the season with a 5-4 come-from-behind effort against Philadelphia University, Friday afternoon at the Legacy Youth Tennis Center. Down a point with two matches to go, junior Jason Rothstein (Pine Brook, N.J.), playing number-four singles, earned the crucial tying point and sophomore Freddy Marcinkowski (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) sealed the Hawks' win with a 6-4, 6-2 win at number one singles.
The win also marks the first Monmouth victory for first-year head coach Cory Hubbard.
"It feels great to get this first win at Monmouth," stated Hubbard, who took over the program in January. "Everyone at MU has been so supportive and I am very happy to be here. I look forward to getting a lot more wins in the years to come."
The Hawks got on the board first, scoring a doubles point as the team of freshman Ramy Bekhiet (Robbinsville, N.J./Robbinsville) and Marcinkowski rolled past Dylan Bhaerman and Kyle Burke, 8-2. The Rams responded with the next two double tallies, to go ahead, 2-1.
"As happy as I am to get the win, I was extremely disappointed in the way we started the match," added Hubbard. "We came out very flat and played with very little emotion and got down big at 2 and 3 doubles. We woke up a little bit and got the momentum going, fighting off multiple match points, and got both matches to 7-6 before dropping them both."
Bekhiet knotted the score at No. 2 singles, cruising to a 6-2, 6-0, win over Ayman Barakat, while Jason Prezant (Montvale, N.J./Pascack Hills) handled Nail Rachidi with ease, 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.
Philadelphia's Bhaerman and Chris Casamassima registered victories at fifth and sixth singles, respectively, to give the Rams a 4-3 advantage heading into the final two matches. Rothstein edged Long Vo 7-5 in the first set before cruising to a 6-1 second set victory, setting up Marcinkowski's game-securing match.
"The first month and half we have been putting in a lot of hard work, and trying to develop winning habits and attitudes, but without much reward," continued Hubbard. "We really had to earn this victory, which makes it even better. We played tough and with more energy throughout the match. We were physically tougher and played better as the match wore on."
Monmouth returns to the court on Sunday afternoon as it takes on Army in West Point, N.Y.
1. MARCINKOWSKI, FREDDY (MU-M) def. BURKE, Klye (PU) 6-4, 6-2
2. BEKHIET, Ramy (MU-M) def. BARAKAT, Ayman (PU) 6-2, 6-0
3. PREZANT, Jason (MU-M) def. RACHIDI, Nail (PU) 6-2, 6-0
4. ROTHSTEIN, Jason (MU-M) def. VO, Long (PU) 7-5, 6-1
5. BHAERMAN, Dylan (PU) def. PIERCE, Eric (MU-M) 6-2, 3-6, 10-6
6. CASAMASSIMA, Chris (PU) def. TALAFOUS, Joe (MU-M) 6-2, 6-1
1. MARCINKOWSKI, FREDDY/BEKHIET, Ramy (MU-M) def. BURKE, Klye/BHAERMAN, Dylan (PU) 8-3
2. BARAKAT, Ayman/RACHIDI, Nail (PU) def. PREZANT, Jason/ROTHSTEIN, Jason (MU-M) 8-6
3. CASAMASSIMA, Chris/VO, Long (PU) def. PIERCE, Eric/TALAFOUS, Joe (MU-M) 8-6