Binghamton wins two of three matches played at Cornell's Reis Tennis Center

ITHACA, N.Y.--The Binghamton men's tennis team (8-5) defeated Niagara and Bucknell on Saturday, before falling 4-2 to Marist on Sunday in matches played indoors at Cornell's Reis Tennis Center.

On Saturday, the Bearcats defeated Niagara for the second time in a week, winning three singles matches and the lone doubles match. At first singles, sophomore Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India) posted a 6-4, 6-3 win, while senior Brad Davidoff (Roslyn, N.Y.) went to a third-set for a 6-4, 2-6, 10-8 victory. Junior Steve Spencer (Plantation, Fla.) was victorious at fourth singles, coming from behind to win 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. The doubles tandem of senior Brad Sherwood (Bronx, N.Y.) and sophomore Krishna Vallabhaneni (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) captured the lone, two-point doubles match, winning 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

"We came out a little flat against Cornell," said head coach Mike Starke. "We beat them the week before but they changed their lineup and came out hungry for a win. We were lucky to come away with a win."

Later in the day, the Bearcats swept all five singles points and the doubles match for a 7-0 win over Bucknell. Binghamton won every match in straight sets, with Rao leading the way with a 6-1, 6-1 decision at first singles.

"We looked sharp against Bucknell," Starke said. "Everyone played well. Overall we think we're in pretty good shape and we've played some good tennis. We wanted to come out against Bucknell and try to elevate our level of play. We hit our goals on a crescendo. It was a great match."

On Sunday, Binghamton fell to Marist 4-2. The Bearcats won two of the four singles matches that were played to completion, but lost the two-point doubles match. Rao and Davidoff were winners at the first two singles spots. Freshman Brian O'Connor (New Rochelle, N.Y.) was leading his match at third singles 3-6, 7-6, 5-2 before the match had to be stopped.

"It was a good match," Starke said. "It was played close throughout, a nailbiter. We were hurt by losing the doubles point. Akshay was brilliant and Davidoff held on for a win, but we lost a pivotal match at third singles."

The Bearcats are off until February 21, when they head back to the Reis Tennis Center for a single dual match against Cornell.


Binghamton 5, Niagara 2


#1 - Akshay Rao (B) def. Jon Bozanich (6-4, 6-3)
#2 - Brad Davidoff (B) def. Erik Garcia (6-4, 2-6, 10-8)
#3 - Mike Kelly def. Brian O'Connor (B) (6-3, 6-4)
#4 - Steve Spencer (B) def. Jason Ramos (4-6, 6-0, 6-1)
#5 - Jason Pope def. Jordan Steinberg (B) (6-0, ret.)


#1 - Brad Sherwood/Krishna Vallabhaneni (B) def. Kris Hrisoulos/John Abella (6-3, 7-6, 8-6)

Binghamton 7, Bucknell 0


#1 - Akshay Rao (B) def. Leland Tien (6-1, 6-1)
#2 - Brad Davidoff (B) def. Nick Denefrio (6-1, 7-5)
#3 - Brad Sherwood (B) def. Joe Menezes (6-3, 6-2)
#4 - Brian O'Connor (B) def. Asher Salam (6-4, 6-2)
#5 - Rodrigo Valle (B) def. Garrett Neff (6-3, 6-1)


#1 - Steve Spencer/Krishna Vallabhaneni (B) def. Aaron Saperrien/Don Whaley (6-2, 6-0)

Marist 4, Binghamton 2


#1 - Akshay Rao (B) def. David Slater (6-0, 6-0)
#2 - Brad Davidoff (B) def. Chris Hagen (6-2, 5-7, 6-4)
#3 - Mark Santucci def. Brad Sherwood (B) (6-3, 4-6, 6-4)
#4 - Brian O'Connor (B) led Viktor Shpeznkov (3-6, 7-6, 5-2, DNF)
#5 - Mike Nassif def. Rodrigo Valle (B) (6-2, 6-2)


#1 - Pat Hofer/Martin Andorsson def. Steve Spencer/Krishna Vallabhaneni (B) 6-4, 6-1

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