Tennis sweeping up in the GNAC

by Beacon Staff • April 12, 2006

On April 1, the Lions hosted Albertus Magnus College and won all nine of the matches played.

One week later, they repeated the feat at Norwich University, again winning 9-0.,The Emerson men's tennis team took a step forward last week, getting its first two sweeps of the season.

On April 1, the Lions hosted Albertus Magnus College and won all nine of the matches played.

One week later, they repeated the feat at Norwich University, again winning 9-0. The team's record now stands at 5-0 on the season.

In each of the nine-match contests prior to Saturday's, the Lions, champions of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) regular season and tournament for the past two years, lost at least two matches.

Head Coach Keith Warner explained one of the reasons for his team's recent surge of success.

"[Albertus Magnus] was one of the few matches that we've had our whole squad," he said.

When they traveled to Norwich, however, the Lions faced the challenge of having just six of 10 players in attendance.

Two of the six regular singles players, sophomores Oliver Boyer-Masutti and Robby Gardner, were unable to attend the match because of other commitments, and junior Randy Sollenberger, a frequent doubles player, could not make it either.

Despite these setbacks, Emerson stepped up and claimed the 9-0 victory, the second in as many contests.

Senior Michael Huddleston cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 victory at the top singles spot.

Sophomore Aman Kapur dominated his match at No. 2 singles, winning, 6-0, 6-1. Kapur's performance gave Warner reason to name him the team's player of the week.

"The guy's playing great, playing on all cylinders," Warner said.

Kapur said the team has improved its level of play lately for a couple of reasons.

"The whole team has been serving well," said Kapur. "We all have a lot of confidence."

The No. 3 singles match went to junior T.J. Czypruna in three sets (3-6, 6-1, 6-2).

Stepping in at No. 5 singles was freshman Ben Thompson. Thompson's match took three sets, as he won the first set (6-3), and then lost the second set in a 7-4 tiebreaker before bouncing back to take the third set (6-3).

Warner named Thompson rookie of the week for his efforts. Thompson goes to Berklee College of Music but is allowed to play for Emerson because Berklee does not have any athletic teams.

Sophomore Ethan Schwelling rounded out the singles matches by claiming the No. 6 contest in straight sets (6-1, 6-1).

The three doubles matches went smoothly for the Lions. Huddleston and Kapur teamed up at the No. 1 spot for a change (since Boyer-Masutti was out) and defeated Norwich, 8-1. Doubles go to the first team to get eight games instead of best of three sets.

Glenn and Czypruna claimed the No.2 doubles match, 8-2, and Schwelling and Thompson finished up the doubles competition with an 8-1 victory.

"We're definitely playing better at doubles than we started the season," said Warner. "I've been making it a point to fine tune our doubles play."

Although they are off to a fast start, Warner said he wants to make sure the Lions "peak at the right time," preferably during tournament time.

For now, however, he said they are "taking it one match at a time."

Huddleston said this squad is the finest he's ever played on in terms of talent and ability.

"This is the strongest team ever," Huddleston said. "It's definitely as strong as last year. If this year's team played last year's team, this year's team would win, barely."