There will be better barometers as the season goes on - perhaps tomorrow's dual against Bryant - than today's match against #42 Dartmouth for Men's Tennis in their MAC Championship defense, but for those of us waiting for the second semester and the resultant flurry of spring sports to finally get going, today provided something new even as the Bulls fell to the Big Green, 5-1.
Moreso than the actual intrigue of the match was our first look at Coach Nickell's lineup. With only seven names on the roster right now, UB doesn't have a lot of breathing room in replacing a pair of graduated seniors and a pair of transfers. Today bore few surprises in singles, with Amar Hromic anf Pable Alvarez taking the top two spots, Ethan Nittolo and Sergio Arevalillo at #3 and #4, and Akhil Mehta and Tony Miller rounding out the sextet.
There was more uncertainty in the doubles pairings, and it didn't help today that UB faced a pair of top-ten duos from their hosts, but the starters make sense from last year and the fall: Mehta/Miller, Alvarez/Hromic, and Arevalillo/Nittolo.
In singles, Dartmouth only had a single ranked individual, but #18 Dovydas Sakinis made quick work of Hromic 7-6, 6-4, while freshman Ethan Nittolo fell 6-1,6-4, Akhil Mehta fell in 3 sets and Tony Miller fell 6-4, 7-5 in the 3, 5 and 6 singles, respectively. Sergio Arevallilo earned the only points of the day for the Bulls winning, 6-4, 6-4.
UB will remain in New Hampshire this weekend for another dual against Bryant - a decidedly less challenging opponent - tomorrow.
#9 Sakinis/Tannenbaum (DART) def Miller/Mehta (UB), 6-0
#5 Pedrza/Glasnovic (DART) def Alvarez/Hromic (UB), 7-6 (9-7)
Arevalillo/Nittolo (UB) def. Wall/Fliegner (DART), 6-4
#18 Sakinis (DART) def Hromic (UB), 7-6, 6-4
Ruccardi (DART) def Alvarez (UB) 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
Tannenbaum (DART) def. Nittolo (UB), 6-1, 6-4
Arevalillo (UB) def. Pedroza (DART), 6-4, 6-4
Fiegner (DART) def. Mehta (UB), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Wall (DART) def Hajdu Anderson (UB), 6-4, 7-5