Bearcats sweep Stony Brook at Binghamton Tennis Center

BINGHAMTON, N.Y.--After more than five fours, both the men's and women's tennis teams pulled off victories over America East rival Stony Brook on Friday night at the Binghamton Tennis Center. The men's team (13-9) defeated Stony Brook 4-3 for their sixth win in the last seven matches while the women's team (11-7) beat Stony Brook 4-2 to tie the school record for most consectuve victories. Both the men's and women's teams avenged losses last season to the Seawolves.

In the men's match, Binghamton took two out of three doubles matches to earn the first point. Senior Brad Davidoff (Roslyn, N.Y.) and junior Steve Spencer (Platation, Fla./ Nova.) won at second doubles, 8-6, while freshman Edwin Gerard (Queens, N.Y./ Edgemont) and sophomore Krishna Vallabhaneni (Lagrangeville, N.Y./ Arlington) won at third doubles, 8-6. The first doubles match did not get completed, but with the Bearcats having won the other two matches, they were assured of the point.

That doubles point would prove to be valuable, as the two teams split the remaining six singles matches. Sophomore Akshay Rao (New Delhi, India) won at first singles, 6-1, 6-1 to improve his overall record to 29-4 on the season. Gerard won at third singles in dramatic fashion, 7-5, 6-7 (7-5), 6-7 (7-5) while freshman Brian O'Connor won at fifth singles, 6-1, 1-6, 6-1.

With the victory, the men's team is in the drivers seat to clinch the top spot in the upcoming America East Conference Championships (April 25-27). The Bearcats' last regular season match will be Sunday at 10 a.m. when they host Vermont.

In the women's match, Binghamton posted its school record-tying eighth consecutive win in dramatic fashion against Stony Brook, 4-2. The only other time that feat was accomplished came between May 31, 1987-Sept. 29, 1987.

"Beating Stony Brook was a huge match for us," head coach Jamie Campbell said. "We hadn't beaten them in the past two years and our matches with them are always grunge matches with a lot of blood and sweat put into them."

The Bearcats lost the doubles point but then came back to win four out of five singles matches. Freshman Justina Hakimi (Manhasset, N.Y./ Herricks) won at first singles, 6-1, 6-1, Alexis Brill (Syosset, N.Y.) won at fifth singles, 6-3, 6-3 while Kristin Jobe (Baytown, Texas/ Texas City) won for the eighth consecutive time, triumphing at fifth singles, 6-2, 6-0.

The hero of the night, however, was senior Amy Weissberg (Syosset, N.Y.), who pulled off the match-clinching 5-7, 6-1, 7-6 (8-2) win at third singles. Not only did Weissberg lose the first set, but she was down 5-2 in the final set and appeared to be heading for defeat. With her back against the wall, Weissberg managed to force the tiebreaker, which she would eventually win 8-2.

"Amy had such a great match," Campbell said. "She never lets up and she fights to the end in every match. Tonight she battled back and refused to lose. She won her match with her tremendous will power and I'm really happy for her."

The women are home against Bucknell on Saturday at 3 p.m.


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