UMBC's Christian Hodel won at No. 1 singles against Stony Brook to send the Retrievers to their third straight title match.
UMBC's Christian Hodel won at No. 1 singles against Stony Brook to send the Retrievers to their third straight title match.
Courtesy: America East Communications

Title Matches Set as Upsets Rule on Day Two of Tennis Championship

Release: 04/28/2012

FLUSHING, N.Y. – The 2012 America East Tennis Championship matches are set after a thrilling day at the USTA National Tennis Center. No. 4 Stony Brook knocked off 18-time defending champion and No. 1 Boston University and No. 2 UMBC cruised past No. 3 Binghamton on the women’s side. For the men, No. 1 Binghamton rolled over No. 4 Boston U. and No. 3 UMBC upset No. 2 Stony Brook to close out the day.

For the first time in 18 years, the America East women’s tennis champion will not be Boston University. Stony Brook won the doubles to point to start the match, clinching the early advantage with a tie-break win at No. 3 as Chloe Pike and Salome Mkervalidze won 9-8 (7-4). Four of the six contested singles matches between the two teams went to three sets. Stony Brook’s Nini Lagvilava took down Boston U.’s Vivien Laszloffy in the top spot, 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) to give the Seawolves a 3-2 lead. The Terriers would not go quietly, though, as two-time America East Player of the Year Stefanie Nunic came from a set down to even the match three-all at No. 3 singles to win 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. The match came down to the No. 2 singles match featuring Stony Brook’s Polina Movchan and Boston U.’s Leonie-Charlotte Athanasiadis. After splitting the first two sets, Movchan cashed in an early break in the third and breezed from there, picking up a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win to send the Seawolves to the conference championship match for the first time since 2002. Movchan improved to 17-2 at No. 2 singles this year.

Earlier in the day, second-seeded UMBC grabbed a quick lead on No. 3 Binghamton after taking the doubles point. The Retrievers and Bearcats split at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles leaving the point on the racquets of Kim Berghaus and Carmen Jackman (UMBC) and Marina Bykovskaya and Katherine Medianik (Binghamton). UMBC’s No. 1 team collected the win, 8-4. UMBC then picked up wins at Nos. 1, 2 and 6 singles completing the sweep. All three wins came in straight sets highlighted by Shalini Sahoo’s win over Jill Santos, 6-4, 6-2, at the top singles spot. UMBC advances to its first title match since 2007.

In the women’s consolation match, Albany swept Hartford 4-0.

On the men’s side, Binghamton showed why it earned the No. 1 seed sweeping the doubles matches and clinching the match with three straight-set singles wins to eliminate No. 4 Boston University, 4-0. The Haggai brothers, Alexandre and Ruben, pushed the Binghamton lead to 3-0 after each won easily in their singles matches. Alexandre defeated Boston U.’s Jesse Frieder 6-1, 6-2 and Ruben did not drop a game at No. 5, winning 6-0, 6-0 over Alex Hallenbeck. The Bearcats punched a ticket to their sixth championship final in seven years with Florian van Kann’s 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 6.

The Bearcats awaited the winner of the Stony Brook-UMBC matchup and they would have to wait a while. The deciding doubles match between the two teams went to a tiebreaker and four of six singles contests went to a third set. Juan Aranzazu and Daniel Gray defeated Stony Brook’s Roope Kailaheimo and Robert Forai at No. 2 doubles after the two teams split at No. 1 and No. 3. The Seawolves evened things up when Stefan Ilic won 6-3, 6-4 at No. 4 singles only to see UMBC retake the lead with Kamal Patel’s straight-set victory at No. 6. UMBC’s Joe Adewumi battled back from a set down at No. 2 (4-6, 6-2, 6-3) to get UMBC within one match of a title bout with Binghamton. Christian Hodel delivered that win at No. 1, handing Stony Brook’s Nikita Fomin just his third loss at No. 1 this season (7-6, 5-7, 6-4).

This will be the third consecutive year and the fourth time in the last five years that UMBC faces Binghamton for the men’s title.

Sunday’s championship matches will begin at 10 a.m.

April 27
Women's First Round
No. 3 Binghamton 4, No. 6 Hartford 0
No. 4 Stony Brook 4, No. 5 Albany 1

Men's First Round
No. 4 Boston U 4, No. 5 Hartford 2

April 28
Women's Consolation
No. 5 Albany 4, No. 6 Hartford 0       

Women's Semifinals
No. 1 Boston U. 3, No. 4 Stony Brook 4      
No. 2
UMBC 4, No. 3 Binghamton 0      

Men's Semifinals
No. 1 Binghamton 4, No. 4 Boston U. 0      
No. 2 Stony Brook 1, No. 3 UMBC 4
April 29
Women's Final
UMBC vs. Stony Brook, 10 a.m.      

Men's Final
Binghamton vs. UMBC, 10 a.m.