NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Norfolk State men’s tennis team got off to a solid start at the CNU Invitational on Saturday and Sunday at the James T. and Sarah C. Eyre Courts in the Spartans’ first action of the 2015 fall season.
Freshman Benedikt Henning won all of his singles matches to highlight the weekend for the Spartans, who faced opponents from host Christopher Newport as well as Virginia Wesleyan and Longwood.
“We are one of the youngest teams in Division I, and this weekend served as a great introduction to collegiate tennis for these young men,” said head coach Worth Richardson. “While they enjoyed a lot of success this weekend, they also had their eyes opened to areas where they need to improve.”
NSU began play on Saturday with several singles matches. Henning came away with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Graham Wilson of Virginia Wesleyan in the flight 1 bracket, followed by a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Longwood’s Florian Uffer in flight 2.
Sophomore Antonio Pejic also competed in both, falling by a 6-4, 6-1 score to Alfonso Castellano of Longwood in flight 1 before rebounding to defeat Virginia Wesleyan’s Kenny Downing in flight 2, 6-0 and 6-0.
Freshman Nico Lluch claimed victories in both of his Saturday matchups. In flight 3, he fell in the first set, 7-6, after losing the tiebreaker by a 7-4 score against Adam Rosemblaum of Virginia Wesleyan. Lluch then took the second set, 6-1, and narrowly won the third set tiebreaker, 10-8. He followed that up with a much easier 6-0, 6-2 victory over Longwood’s Lachlan Manser in flight 4.
Sophomore Fatehdeep Singh also competed in both flights 3 and 4. He suffered a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Julian Farthing in the third flight before defeating Drew Tomajczyk of Virginia Wesleyan in flight 4, 6-1 and 6-3.
The Spartans also split their doubles matches on Saturday with Longwood. The Henning-Singh duo pulled out a 9-7 victory over Farthing and Castellano. Lluch and Pejic were not as fortunate, dropping an 8-3 matchup against Uffer and Manser.
On Sunday, NSU won three of its four singles matches against CNU players. Henning defeated Justin Cerny in flight 1, 6-2 and 7-6, including an 8-6 win in the second set tiebreaker. Singh was also victorious in flight 4 over William Trang, but not before getting pushed to the edge. Singh won the first set, 6-3, before dropping the second, 6-4. He came back to win the third set tiebreaker, 10-6.
Pejic defeated Steven Boslet in flight 2, including a 7-6 win in the first set with a 7-4 victory in the tiebreaker. Pejic completed the sweep with a 6-3 win in the second set. Lluch had the lead on Arttu Fiva after winning the first set tiebreaker, 7-5, for a 7-6 first set win in flight 3. Fiva, though, came back to win the second set, 6-0, and the third set tiebreaker, 10-5.
Also on Sunday, the Spartans competed in doubles against both CNU and Virginia Wesleyan, winning both matches against the latter. Singh and Henning took care of Tyler Chang and Downing, 8-3, in flight 1, while Lluch and Singh defeated Rosemblaum and Spenser Bullock, 8-4, in the second flight.
CNU won both of its matches against the Spartans. Boslet and Cerny earned an 8-5 victory over Henning and Singh in flight 1, while Fiva and Trang won a tight battle against Lluch and Pejic, 9-7, in flight 2.
NSU will next compete at the Elon Invitational from Oct. 2-4.
“They will work hard over the next two weeks in preparation for Elon,” Richardson said. “It will be exciting to see how much our players can improve their mental and physical stamina as well as their doubles play.”
Originally posted on NSUSpartans.com | Used with permission