There’s no two ways about it: It has been a good weekend for Bulls fans. Discounting what will come in this post, we’ve got two basketball wins, a bigtime wrestling comeback, and Khalil Mack winning AP Defensive Player of the Year.
That still leaves three more sports, including three teams still in the early weeks of their season who I haven’t covered at all yet.
Today’s match against Youngstown State was cancelled, but that’s only after a 7-0 drubbing of St. Bonaventure yesterday. Granted, I expect that type of win over the Bonnies — UB hasn’t dropped more than one team point in a match against them since 2000-01 — but it’s still nice.
With the first match of the year a walkover and the second cancelled, there’s not a whole lot to learn, but I hold that Women’s Tennis is UB’s best chance for a team MAC Championship this year, and we at least got a look at the pecking order.
The doubles pairings make sense: it’s good to see a freshman in the group in Anna Savchenko, and it’s equally good to see Stojanovska and Kotok remain together. Another freshman, Emel Abibula, cracks the singles lineup, where there are two surprises, one milder than the other. First, it’s odd to see Kotok all the way down at #5, but I suspect that speaks to our depth more than her performance. Secondly, Sanjana Sudhir, who went 23-9 last year, isn’t even in this lineup right now. This is a deep, talented team with a great mix of experience and youth.
- Tanja Stojanovska/Margarita Kotok (UB) def. Mara Martinez-Santori/Gabriella Bowe (SBU), 6-3
- Chantal Martinez Blanco/Anna Savchenko (UB) def. Clara Herberts/Kahlei Reisinger (SBU), 6-1
- Laura Holterbosch/Mercedes Losada Rubio (UB) def. Francesca Chin/Lauren Doversola (SBU), 6-1
- Chantal Martinez Blanco (UB) def. Mara Martinez-Santori (SBU), 6-3, 6-0
- Tanja Stojanovska (UB) def. Gabriella Bowe (SBU), 7-5, 6-1
- Mercedes Losada Rubio (UB) def. Clara Herberts (SBU), 6-1, 6-0
- Emel Abibula (UB) def. Dominique Mortier (SBU), 6-3, 6-3
- Margarita Kotok (UB) def. Kahlei Reisinger (SBU), 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-4
- Laura Holterbosch (UB) def. Nicole Kozinski (SBU), 6-0, 6-4
We only know that the Men’s afternoon showdown with #19 Columbia ended 6-1 against, but they did start a week earlier than the Women, so there’s a little more to go on otherwise.
Through four, UB and their newcomer-heavy lineup is 1-3, topping Brown while dropping a nailbiter to Yale and a tough one to Cornell. Here’s what we’ve learned:
Nails Nickell appears to have a set doubles lineup in Filip Grbic/Villhelm Fridell at one, Hao Sheng Koay/Vidit Vaghela at two, and Tony Miller/Ethan Nittolo at three. Miller/Nittolo is a familiar pairing, while Fridell/Grbic is the only all-freshman combo. The two, though, have consistently played at #2 and #5 singles so far in the lineup, so placing them at first doubles doesn’t feel ridiculous.
There’s nearly perfect consistency on the singles side, with Nickell rolling out Vaghela, Grbic, Vodak, Koay, Fridell, and Nittolo, the only change being a flip of Vodak and Koay in one match so far. With so many new names, we’ll quickly get a picture of where the strength is in this lineup and should be able to say a lot more come MAC play.
Track and Field
Two years ago, Track and Field went the entire season with a new school record every week. We got that this weekend at Akron, with Emma Siuciak obliterating Ajla Glavasevic’s* five-year-old school record in the Pentathlon Friday and Josh Gali Saturday carving a quarter-second off the school’s 200 yard dash record.
*Glavasevic, for what it’s worth, is currently a member of the USA Bobsled Team, so that’s pretty neat
Siuciak and Gali join Kaishaun Cathey, who earlier this season set a new school mark int the triple jump. In other events, while we don’t have a world-beater like Jon Jones anymore, keep an eye on Selina Von Jackowski, who focused largely on hurdles and long jump last year, but seems to have improved on both while adding more events to her repertoire.
Swimming and Diving
I don’t have results yet, and have plans for a further SwimDive post in the next week(ish), but we do know that the Bulls had an easy time of Cleveland State today, the Men claiming a 149-94 with, and the women a 160-83 win. I wouldn’t expect any shocking times from either side with the MAC Championships so close, but it’s still good to coast to easy wins.