February 6, 2012

Chicago continues dominance against Elmhurst

As the men’s tennis season gets fully underway, the Maroons are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. Chicago’s impressive start to the season continued this weekend with another win against Elmhurst by a score of 8–1. This was the first D-III matchup of the year for the Maroons, who improved to 3–0.

Coming into Saturday’s game against Elmhurst, Chicago was confident. Only a few nights prior, the men had sent D-I Chicago State home emptyhanded.

“[Chicago State] wasn’t a very tough team. We beat them last year,” second-year Alex Golovin said. “They were definitely much better this year, but so were we.”

The Elmhurst match proved to be no different. The Maroons captured a definitive win.

At the number two slot first-year Ankur Bhargava led the pack with a win against Will Jung. The rest of the group followed, as Golovin defeated Vincent McPherson in two sets. Second-year Zsolt Szabo, first-year Deepak Sabada and fourth-year Jan Stefanski all defeated their opponents in two sets as well.

In doubles play, the duo of Stefanski and fourth-year Troy Brinker defeated their oppenents 8–6; Bhargava and Sabada won 8–3; and second-year Krishna Ravella and Szabo finished off Elmhurst with an 8–2 win.

The only blemish of the night came in the number one singles slot, in which Brinker lost in a hard-fought struggle against Elmhurst’s Alex Harbert, 7–6 (7–2), 7–5.

In a night that favored the Maroons in nearly every way, there were not many concerns.

“The only thing that we can perhaps improve on is to really take control of our opportunities—to be more aggressive in securing the lead,” Golovin said.

With their current level of play and a national ranking, the Maroons have high expectations.

“I’m overall pretty confident with the way we’ve been practicing and improving as a team,” Golovin said. “Our goals for the season are to qualify for the NCAA tournament and finish top five in the country, instead of top 10.”

The South Siders hope to improve to 4–0 next week, as they head to Michigan to take on Kalamazoo, another unranked opponent.

“We’re feeling pretty good about the [match],” Golovin said, “although it will be different because we won’t have the comfort of playing at home.”