Bulls Close Out MAC Invitational With Several Flight Victories

Vidit Vaghela

KALAMAZOO, MI – The University at Buffalo men's tennis team closed out the fall season this weekend at the MAC Invitational as the Bulls won two of the three doubles flights as well as the fifth singles flight.

The weekend began on Friday with doubles as the Bulls claimed victories at the first and second doubles flight.  At first doubles, sophomore Hao Sheng Koay and junior Ethan Nittolo began the tournament with an 8-4 win over Vincent Anzalone and Serjen Olmedo of Toledo.  They then defeated Nick Schnobel and Eric Olivarez from Western Michigan, 8-1, to advance to the finals.  In the championship round, Koay and Nittolo defeated Maik Steiner and Jannik Opitz of Western Michigan, 8-7 (8).

At second doubles, sophomore Villhelm Fridell and senior Vidit Vaghela also won three matches to claim the championship. They won 8-7 (2) over Bryce Bonin and Christopher Adams of Ball State and then defeated Bor Muzar and Erich Schuette, 8-3, to advance to the championship match.  In the finals, they defeated Tiago Lourenco and Valentin Bouchet of Binghamton, 8-4.

At third doubles, Konstantinos Tsakiris and Petr Vodak overcame a first round loss to win the consolation bracket, including an 8-1 win in the final match.

Singles play was highlighted by Vaghela, who won the fifth singles flight. He defeated Inigo Irazusta of Binghamton, 7-5, 6-1 and then beat Zac Faveri of Western Michigan, 6-3, 6-4.  In the finals, Vaghela defeated Tom Hjertonsson of Northern Illinois, 7-6 (2), 6-2.

Koay and Fridell both earned third-place honors in singles action.  Koay won his opening match in the second singles flight, 6-1, 6-1, and then he dropped his second match before winning the third place match, 6-4, 6-3. Fridell played fourth singles and he won his opening match, 6-2, 6-0, before losing his second round match.  Fridell then won his third place match, 6-1, 6-0.

Vodak finished fourth in the first singles bracket as he won his opening match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 before falling in his final two matches.  Tsakiris also finished fourth in the sixth singles bracket as he won his opening match over Josh Druger from Binghamton, 7-6 (5), 6-1, before dropping his final two matches.

Nittolo won his first match at the third singles flight, 6-1, 6-2.  He lost his second match and then concluded the weekend with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Conner Anderson from Ball State.

"We tested ourselves this fall against the toughest competition to prepare us for this tournament, and our results showed that we have made strides since September," said head coach Lee Nickell. "Even though we didn't quite execute how we wanted in the semifinals our guys did a great job of rebounding and getting wins today. I am happy and proud of Vidit who broke through some mental barriers this weekend to win both doubles and singles draws."

The Bulls will be back in action after the new year when they begin the spring portion of their schedule.