STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – In its Northeast Conference opener, the Monmouth University men’s tennis team swept every set as it cruised to a 7-0 victory over Wagner, Tuesday afternoon. With the victory, the Hawks improve to 2-4 on the season and 1-0 in NEC play, while the Seahawks fall to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in league action.
"It's always good to get a sweep without dropping a set, so I am proud of the way the guys focused and took care of business,” said head coach Cory Hubbard. “This was our first day playing outside, so it was definitely a big adjustment and not the best level of tennis, but I think we got better as the match went on.”
Freshmen Joe Talafous (Jersey City, N.J./Hundson Catholic Regional) and Eric Pierce (Barrington, R.I./Barrington) set the tone for the Blue and White, earning an 8-0 doubles victory over Steve Nakajima and Chris Jarema. The duo of sophomore Freddy Marcinkowski (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) and rookie Ramy Bekhiet (Robbinsville, N.J./Robbinsville) cruised to an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles to secure the point, while junior Jason Rothstein and freshman Jason Prezant Montvale, N.J./Pascack Hills) downed Christian Grau and Sawyer Fonda, 7-5.
“I was very happy with Joe and Eric, getting quick victories and helping us gain momentum early,” added Hubbard. “Both guys have really worked hard and improved this semester, so it's nice when you see it paying off with their results today. Joe was a real energizer today and he is starting to understand the level of energy that I want."
Pierce followed up his doubles win by shutting out Nakajima, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 5 singles and, at No. 2 singles, Bekhiet handled Chris Rautenstrauch, 6-1, 6-1, to give the Hawks a commanding 3-0 lead. Talafous secured the Monmouth win, earning a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6 singles followed by Marcinkowski edging Grau 7-6 in the first set, before registering a 6-2 second-set win. Rothstein posted a 6-1, 6-2 win at No. 4, while Prezant scored a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Fonda to give the Blue and White the shutout.
"We will finally get the chance to get some practice outside this week, and we look forward to our first home match this Saturday,” commented Hubbard. “I want to create a great atmosphere and home court advantage so we hope to see a lot of Hawk fans at the courts."
The Hawks were scheduled to travel to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the University of Connecticut, tomorrow, March 26th, but the match was postponed without a makeup date scheduled. MU will now turn its attention to its home opener this Saturday at 11 a.m. as it welcomes Post to West Long Branch, N.J.
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Tennis Match Results
Monmouth vs Wagner
Mar 26, 2013 at Staten Island, N.Y.
1. MARCINKOWSKI, FREDDY (MU-M) def. GRAU, Christian (WAG-M) 7-6, 6-2
2. BEKHIET, Ramy (MU-M) def. RAUTENSTRAUCH, Chris (WAG-M) 6-1, 6-1
3. PREZANT, Jason (MU-M) def. FONDA, Sawyer (WAG-M) 7-5, 6-1
4. ROTHSTEIN, Jason (MU-M) def. SANTORO, Taylor (WAG-M) 6-1, 6-2
5. PIERCE, Eric (MU-M) def. NAKAJIMA, Steve (WAG-M) 6-0, 6-0
6. TALAFOUS, Joe (MU-M) def. JAREMA, Christopher (WAG-M) 6-1, 6-1
1. MARCINKOWSKI, FREDDY/BEKHIET, Ramy (MU-M) def. RAUTENSTRAUCH, Chris/SANTORO, Taylor (WAG-M) 8-2
2. PREZANT, Jason/ROTHSTEIN, Jason (MU-M) def. GRAU, Christian/FONDA, Sawyer (WAG-M) 7-5
3. PIERCE, Eric/TALAFOUS, Joe (MU-M) def. JAREMA, Christopher/NAKAJIMA, Steve (WAG-M) 8-0