Bulldogs fall to Knights in NEC Tourney Finals

(Athletic Communications)
(Athletic Communications)


SMITHFIELD, R.I. – In what was possibly the most completive match of the 2012-13 season, the Bryant University Men's tennis team dropped a back-and-forth battle to Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-3, in the Northeast Conference Tournament Finals, Sunday in West Windsor, N.J.

In true dramatic fashion, these two NEC powerhouses fought tooth and nail until the final point, but the Knights prevailed with a 4-3 comeback victory.

The Bulldogs got off to a great start earning the vital doubles point right off the bat. Sophomore Ernesto Arguello (Managua, Nicaragua) and senior Vidith Huot (Providence, R.I.) came up huge at number two doubles, defeating Mark Hemy and Peter Skvarka, 8-3, to get things rolling for the Bulldogs. A pair of clutch performances from freshmen Max Vogt (Fair Oaks, Calif.) and Munir Serin (Mersin, Turkey) in the three spot clinched the point for the Bulldogs as the rookies defeated Yuri Gricheno and Julien Philippe, 8-4.

The intensity mounted as the teams transitioned to singles play. Number two singles was the first match to finish as Ibrahim Shams took down Vogt, 6-1, 6-1, evening the overall score at 1-1. Junior captain Dana Parziale (Pinehurst, N.C) pushed Bryant back out front with a gutsy performance against Gricheno, winning, 6-3, 6-2, at three singles. Soon after, Arguello down Hemy, 6-3, 7-5, pushing the Bulldogs within a single point of an NEC Title.

With their backs against the wall the Knights responded. Svarka pulled FDU within a single point with his win over Huot, 6-2, 6-1, at the number five singles position. Number one singles and number six singles took three sets to decide. Sophomore Zachary Morris (Garden City, N.Y.) jumped on opponent Arvis Berzins early, winning the first set, 6-4, but Berzins recovered and put together an epic comeback, taking the final two sets, 6-4, 6-4.

With the score knotted, 3-3, sophomore Joshua Rubinstein (Trumbull, Conn.) and FDU's Markus Sjoberg battled at six singles for NEC Crown. Rubinstein was sharp early on taking set number one, 6-2, but fittingly enough Sjoberg came-from-behind to take the next two sets, 6-3, 6-2, earning the Knights an NEC Championship in the process.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs put together one of the finest seasons in program history and are sure to be title contenders once again in 2014 with a strong nucleus set to return to Smithfield next year.

For all the latest news on the Bryant University men's tennis team, visit BryantBulldogs.com.