Another UB team starts their year this weekend, as Women's Tennis regroups from a very strong fall season to begin the spring dual slate against St. Francis Saturday, while the Men face a few more Ivy League opponents on the road in Cornell this afternoon and Brown Sunday.
This is the first look we'll get at Coach Ortman-Maines' squad in the spring, and I made my guess as to the lineup in yesterday's season preview:
1. Laura Holterbosch/Tanja Stojanovska
2. Dayana Agasieva/Margarita Kotok
3. Sanjana Sudhir/Mercedes Losada Rubio
1. Chantal Martinez-Blanco
2. Tanja Stojanovska
3. Margarita Kotok
4. Laura Holterbosch
5. Dayana Agasieva
6. Christine Haraldson
The doubles pairings are mostly based on what worked in the fall, but there's always potential for some shuffling. I also wouldn't be surprised to see one of Sanjana Sudhir or Mercedes Losada Rubio at #5 or #6, probably at the expense of Agasieva.
St. Francis comes to Buffalo off a 2-4 loss to Howard and a 1-6 loss to Navy last weekend, so that's not too threatening at all. The Red Flash did not win a single doubles set on the weekend, did not win any singles points without going to a tiebreaker or a third set, or both, and only forced four third sets across 11 matches anyway. Unless Howard is much stronger than I think, this should be a nice tune-up for UB.
The Men hit this weekend with a 1-1 record on the season, having lost to Dartmouth and topped Bryant last weekend. The Bulls faced both of Cornell and Brown last season in a grueling month of March that saw a few nagging injuries snowball with an intentionally strenuous schedule for a very rough stretch. The Bulls lost to the Bears 6-1 and the Big Red 7-0.
More recently, UB had relatively limited contact with the two programs in the fall season. Pablo Alvarez beat Brown's Brandon Yeoh and Sergio Arevelillo Charles Tan, while Amar Hromic lost to Peter Tarwid and Ethan Nittolo to Mladen Mitak and Tony Miller/Akhil Mehta lost at doubles to Yeoh/Mitak at Dartmouth.
Alvarez also lost to Mitak at Princeton, while Hromic topped Tarwid at ITA Regionals, Nittolo may have caught a Cornell opponent at the Ivy Plus at Princeton, but the bracket doesn't show the result.
Last weekend, senior Sergio Arevalillo was the only Bull to claim a point in both duals, but the doubles pairing of Pablo Alvarez and Amar Hromic also stood out, winning their set against Bryant and forcing a tiebreaker to 7-7 against the #5-ranking doubles pairing in the country.
Like Dartmouth, Cornell is sitting just inside the top 50 of the national rankings, while Brown boasts a 5-2 win over William and Mary from last weekend.