PHILADELPHIA, PA - The Buffalo men's tennis team shook off a tough loss to Dartmouth on Friday afternoon to record another big win over an Ivy League opponent, edging Penn 4-3 on Saturday for its first win ever against the Quakers.
The split over the weekend moves the Bulls - ranked 71st in the country - to 3-1 in the early going of the dual season. Pablo Alvarez went 2-0 in singles play over the weekend, including the deciding win against Penn. Alvarez would earn a three-set win over Dartmouth's Brandon DeBot, but the Bulls would come up short in two over three-set matches in the loss.
It would rally in a big way against the Quakers on Saturday, starting with a win of the doubles point. Alvarez and Sebastian Ionescu would win a 6-0 shutout at third doubles, and Sergio Arevalillo would team with Jonathan Hannestad to win the deciding match at second doubles, 6-3, to put the Bulls up 1-0 going into singles play.
The Quakers would win at fourth and fifth singles to surge ahead before a 6-5, 6-1 win by Ionescu at first singles would knot the score up again. Hannestad would put the team on the brink of victory with a 6-4, 6-3 win at sixth singles, but the Quakers would defend home court with a win at second singles to put all the attention on Alvarez and his opponent, Jeremy Court.
While the overall match score was swinging back and forth, Alvarez was in a dogfight after dropping the first set 4-6. He would stay alive with a 6-5 win in the second set thanks to a tiebreaker win, and with all eyes on him, he would complete the comeback with a 6-4 third set. The performance was reminiscent of his match against Cornell, when he would provide the clinching point in the team's first-ever win against the Big Red.
"Once we get home tonight at 2 am we will have spent over 20 hours in a passenger van this weekend," head coach Lee Nickell said. "It is a big accomplishment for us to upset Penn and to compete with a team the caliber of Dartmouth. This has been a very good start to the season, but as a group we understand this is just the beginning of the season. Our goal continues to be to focus one match at a time and continue to get better everyday"
The team will have a week to rest its weary legs before hosting Duquesne. Match time for Saturday is scheduled for 1 pm at Miller Tennis Center.
#71 Buffalo 4, Penn 3
1.) Kocovic/Nardella (Penn) defeated David/Mehta (Buffalo): 6-2
2.) Arevalillo/Hannestad (Buffalo) defeated Spratt/Kaplan (Penn): 6-3
3.) Ionescu/Alvarez (Buffalo) defeated Court/De Alwis (Penn): 6-0
*Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
1.) Sebastian Ionescu (Buffalo) defeated Nikola Kocovic (Penn): 6-5, 6-1
2.) Vim De Alwis (Penn) defeated Damien David (Buffalo): 6-4, 6-5
3.) Pablo Alvarez (Buffalo) defeated Jeremy Court (Penn): 4-6, 6-5, 6-4
4.) Matt Nardella (Penn) defeated Sergio Arevalillo (Buffalo): 6-3, 6-1
5.) Marshall Sharp (Penn) defeated Akhil Mehta (Buffalo): 6-3, 6-2
6.) Johnathan Hannestad (Buffalo) defeated Zach Lessen (Penn): 6-4, 6-3
*Order of Finish: 4, 5, 1, 6, 2, 3
#63 Dartmouth College 6, #71 Buffalo 1
1.) Dovydas Sakinas (DAR) def. Sebastian Ionescu (BUF) 6-3, 6-4
2.) Christopher Kipouras (DAR) def. Damien David (BUF) 6-2, 6-5
3.) Pablo Alvarez (BUF) def. Brandon DeBot (DAR) 6-1, 3-6, 6-2
4.) Cameron Ghorbani (DAR) def. Sergio Arevalillo (BUF) 6-2, 6-2
5.) Brenden Tannenbaum (DAR) def. Akhil Mehta (BUF) 4-6, 6-3, 6-5
6.) Diego Pedraza (DAR) def. Jonathan Hannestad (BUF) 6-5, 4-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 4,2,3,1,6,5
1.) Cameron Ghorbani/Brenden Tannenbaum (DAR) def. Damien David/Akhil Mehta (BUF) 6-3
2.) Dovydas Sakinas/Brandon DeBot (DAR) def. Sergio Arevalillo/Jonathan Hannestad (BUF) 6-5
3.) Christopher Kipouras/Diego Pedraza (DAR) def. Pablo Alvarez/Sebastian Ionescu (BUF) 6-4
Order of finish: 1,3,2