Men’s tennis crowned A-10 champions

Zachary Holden
Staff Writer

In a gritty match against George Washington in the finals, the top-seeded VCU men’s tennis team brought home the school’s second Atlantic 10 title in seven days.

The road to the finals began on Friday with a quarterfinal match against Butler in Mason, Ohio. A pair of early wins from Max Wennakoski/Michal Voscek and Jaime Vazquez/Alejandro Argente gave VCU a 1-0 lead heading into the singles.

Vazquez kept the ball rolling with a singles win to give VCU a 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs. Argente followed his doubles partner with a win over his opponent, Sam O’Neill, putting the Rams just a point away from the win. Senior Wennakoski clinched the spot in the semifinals with a quick 6-2, 6-0 win.

On Saturday, VCU would have to get through Xavier if it wanted to make its fifth A-10 title game appearance this season.

Vazquez/Argente started things off with an 8-3 win in the first doubles match and were followed by a win from the duo of Alexis Heugas/Dylan McCloskey to give VCU a 1-0 lead.

Argente won his singles match 6-3, 6-2 to extend the Rams lead to 2-0. Voscek brought the Rams within a point of the win after his 6-2, 6-2 victory over Zach Mueck. Yet again, Wennakoski sealed the deal with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 victory.

Wennakoski’s singles win was his 32nd of the season and the 88th in his career.

In order for VCU to take home both tennis titles this season, the men would have to get through George Washington University. Overnight rain caused the final to shift indoors to the Queen City Racquet and Fitness Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Switching things up, singles would play before doubles. The trio of Heugas, Voscek and Vazquez each won their matches to give VCU a quick 3-0 lead and just a win shy of another perfect sweep through the conference tournament.

The Colonials wouldn’t let that happen. Danil Zelenkov won his match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win the first point against VCU all weekend. Nikita Fomin then took down Wennakoski in a thriller 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9) before Alexander van Gils’ win tied the match up at 3-3.

Heading into the doubles matches, whoever came out with two of the three wins would take home the A-10 title.

Argente/Vazquez started the doubles off with an 8-3 win and put the Rams just a half point away from the trophy. Heugas/McCloskey brought home the glory with an 8-5 win over van Gils/Ulrick Thomsen giving VCU the 4-3 win over George Washington.

The three points given up by the Rams were the only points given up by both men’s and women’s tennis as they cruised to a pair of A-10 titles.

The win marked the 1,000th career coaching victory for Coach Paul Kostin and was the second A-10 title for him as well after leading the women last weekend.

Up next for the Rams is the NCAA tournament which begins play May 10.

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