Consecutive home wins help men’s tennis improve to 8-3

Peter Mason
Contributing Writer

Redshirt junior Joseph Cohen and junior Michal Voscek compete in doubles competition against the visiting Brown University on Feb. 13. Photo by Ali Jones

VCU men’s tennis won two consecutive home games to get back to their winning ways after dropping the previous pair to start the month of February.

After two straight losses, the Rams hosted the Elon University Phoenixes on Feb. 8 and snapped the two-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory. The Phoenixes were only able to win one of the singles matches out of six when senior Jordan Kaufman swept VCU’s freshman Antonio Battle Rodriguez 6-3, 7-6 and 7-2.

Junior Michael Voscek, redshirt junior Joseph Cohen and sophomores Catalin Fifea, Wilder Pimentel and Jacob Svensson all won singles matches for the Rams. The Phoenixes did manage to win two out of the three doubles matches. Elon’s seniors Brian Kowalski and Stefan Fortmann grabbed the first doubles win 6-1 over Voscek and Cohen. Fifea and sophomore Wilder Pimental led 5-4 over Elon’s junior Robert Lindren and senior Juan Madrid in a match that was not finished and finally Elon took the third doubles match, Kaufman and redshirt freshman Neal Port won the match 6-3 over Battle Rodriguez and freshman Louis Ishizaka.

VCU would pull out the victory with a final score of 4-2.

The final match saw luck on the side of the Rams with their Friday the 13th win over the Binghamton University Bearcats. The Bearcats’ junior Sid Hazarika and senior Robin Lesage won the first two singles matches over Voscek and Cohen. The Rams saw Fifea, Pimental, Battle Rodriguez and Svensson all win the next four straight. The Bearcats won two out of the three doubles matches, but the totals tallied up to a 4-3 victory for the Rams.

In the Rams’ first match for the month of February, Brown University edged the Rams 4-3. Three Rams grabbed wins in the first three singles matches. Voscek grabbed the first win for the Rams over Brown’s senior Justin To. Cohen swept Brown’s sophomore Gregory Garcia 6-4 and 6-3, and in the following match, sophomore Catalin Fifea won 6-4 and 6-2 over junior Ivan Kravtchenko. The next three singles matches were sweep victories for the Bearcats.

Voscek and Fifea were the only Rams to grab a 6-4 doubles win over To and Garcia, before VCU fell in both of the following doubles, and those two losses lifted Brown 4-3 over VCU. The Rams next hosted the Cavaliers of No. 3 ranked U.Va on Feb. 7, and fell 9-1.

Only one Ram was able to grab a win in a singles match against the Cavaliers. In the fourth out of nine singles matchups, Fifea was able to grab 7-6, 7-5 and 6-4 win over U.Va’s sophomore J.C. Aragone. That win secured the only point the Rams were able to manage in the 9-1 loss.

At 8-3 overall and 7-2 at home, the men’s tennis team does not play their next road game for almost another month. Their next four matches will all be played at home keeping head coach Paul Kostin’s team off the road until March.

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