By Kevin Carroll – Staff Writer
On a positively frigid Sunday evening in Oceanside, the Hofstra Pride men’s and women’s tennis teams fought off the cold, and managed to fight off the visiting Saints of Siena College as well, with the men’s team posting an impressive 6-1 rout, while the women’s team gutted out a close one, by a score of 4-3.
First up, on the men’s side, the Pride were dominant throughout the match, sweeping all three doubles matches, and also claiming five out of the six singles matchups. The Pride set the tone early, with Niko Vulinovich and Beau Wills picking up a decisive 6-1 victory over their opponents. Hofstra won the next two matches both by a score of 6-3, sweeping the doubles portion of the competition, and claiming the first team point of the day.
Wills came back out to get singles play underway for the Pride, and withstood strong competition from the Saints’ Darren Reisch, pulling out a 7-5, 6-4 victory in straight sets. It was a result that failed to waver for the next four matchups, as the Pride kept dispatching their foes across the net, although the Saints fought hard the entire way. Siena picked up their first and only team point in the day’s final matchup, in which Alessandro Saglia tripped up the Pride’s Stuart MacLeod, but it was too late for the Saints, who exited the court on the wrong end of a 6-1 final score.
The road to victory would not come so easy for the Pride women’s team, who entered competition on Sunday undefeated on the year. The Saints came out strong, claiming victory in two out of the three doubles matches to grab the first team point. Hofstra’s duo of Bianca Posa and Giulia Leone were the lone winners in doubles, squeezing out a 7-6 victory over Allysa Singh and Cassie Braz.
However, the Pride came roaring back as singles play began, with Sarah Bowen, Louise Lopez, and Carmen Pestano winning the first three matches, giving the Pride a 3-1 team advantage. Hofstra would drop the next match, bringing the Saints within one, but Bianca Derrick clinched the match for the Pride with a decisive 6-2, 6-2 victory over Jessica Macaluso. Siena won the final matchup, but it was to no avail, as the Pride remained unbeaten with a 4-3 victory.
The Hofstra men’s team improved to 3-1 on the young season, and the Pride women ran their unblemished record to 4-0. Siena’s men dropped to 1-5, and the women dropped their third match in a row after a 5-0 start, sliding down to 5-3.
Both Hofstra Pride tennis teams have a long layoff before returning to action, with the men staying home at the Point Set Indoor complex in Oceanside to take on cross-island rival Stony Brook, and the women traveling to Connecticut to take on Bryant. Both of these matches will be played on March 1st, and first serve for both contests will be at 5:00 p.m.