It's been a busy and not-that-great weekend for UB Athletics, though there have been highlights from Women's Basketball and parts of Track and Field. Even after a tough, down-to-the-wire 4-3 men's loss at Yale yesterday, the tennis teams may have put together the best weekend in the school thanks to two big wins this afternoon.
I'll start with the women, who opened their season today, a week later than the men, with a 6-1 victory over St. Bonaventure. I didn't expect the Bonnie to put up much of a fight, but I couldn't find much on them, and UB did turn over more than half their roster, so you never know.
But today went well: a 6-1 victory with the only loss coming in #3 singles from Laura Holterbosch. UB did drop the first double match from the Lauras Fernandez and Holterbosch as well, but the other two pairings won easily to claim the doubles point for the Bulls.
Tennis-wise, there's not much to say. Only two singles matches went the distance; Holterbosch's loss at #3 - though I should point out she forced a seven-round tiebreaker before falling, and Fernandez at #4, in which she came from behind to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Lineup-wise, I don't think there were many surprises in the opening run. We saw in the fall three clear doubles teams form: The Lauras, Tanja Stojanovska and Dayana Agasieva, and Margarita Kotok and Christine Haraldson. In singles, Stojonovska's got the #1 spot and Kotok #2, which is no surprise, the Lauras #3 and #4, and then newcomer Doris Aleksovska at #5 and Haraldson at #6.
There's precious little information on Aleksovska, added to the roster quietly the other day, right now, but we know she's Romanian and a freshman. I don't mind a newcomer stepping into the #5 spot and winning in two sets. Haraldson at #6 had perhaps the strongest win of the day, not dropping a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win.
Speaking of new folks stepping in, Amar Hromic on the men's side really acquitted himself this weekend. In the 4-3 loss to Yale, he was left as the swing point, the final game in play with the teams tied 3-3. He fell 6-3 in that third set, which depending on who served first could have just been a matter of one break in that set.
Despite the loss, Hromic stepped right in at #4, the top of the pecking order behind UB's clear-cut top three. A strong opening act in his Buffalo career, if I can say so.
I won't assume that the lineup remained the same in the 7-0 win over Colgate, but it was a 7-0 win, so whoever Coach Nickell did send out managed perfectly fine. In the loss to Yale, UB got points from Pablo Alvarez (#2), Sebastian Ionescu (#5), and Sergio Arevallilo (#6). I'm happy with that distribution from the full lineup. Hromic was the only Bull to force a third set, though.
I can't find a preseason poll for the Ivy League, but to gauge Yale's strength: they've won three matches by a 17-4 aggregate. Three of those dropped points came against Buffalo.
Looking to the week ahead, the men remain on the Northeast road and will compete thrice in three days at Army: against the Black Knights on Friday, Central Florida on Saturday, and Boston College on Sunday. The women have a similar setup, though a much longer trip. They head to El Paso, Texas for matchups against New Mexico State, Texas State, and UTEP over the weekend.