RPI falls to Saints

SOPHOMORE SUNDAR DEVAKOTTAI LOST a close doubles match 9-8 against the St. Lawrence Saints with freshman Suryansh Patel.

Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams struggled against St. Lawrence University last weekend at the Sharp Courts. First, on Saturday afternoon, the men lost by a final score of 7-2. Then, Sunday morning, the women lost all but one of their matches to the number 37 ranked Saints. The Engineers’ lone win of the weekend came on Sunday afternoon when the men won a tight 5-4 duel against the Vassar Brewers.

The Engineers started off well against the Saints when the first doubles team of senior Alain Grullon Gonzalez and sophomore Tristan Wise rolled to an easy 8-3 victory. But, soon after the match was tied when the Saints’ third doubles team of Paul Barrett and Dean Sponholz won their match by the same margin. Later, St. Lawrence’s second doubles team of Spencer Whitmire and Rhonny Rosario pulled out the last of the doubles matches 9-8 in a tiebreaker over sophomore Sundar Devakotti and freshman Suryansh Patel.

In singles, Wise won again at first by a score of 6-1, 6-3. But this was the lone victory for the Engineers. Three of the others were close, though. Baxter fought back after losing the first set 6-1, but came up just short in the second, falling 7-6. Patel seemed to be cruising in his fifth singles matchup, winning the first set 6-0. But, St. Lawrence’s Kevin Frommer came back to win each of the next two sets, 6-4, 6-3. Last came Grullon Gonzalez, who lost by a just a few points in the third set of his second singles matchup against Rosario. The final score of that match was 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.

The women’s match started with an 8-0 victory for the Saints at third doubles. The other two doubles matches were much closer. At the second, St. Lawrence’s pairing of Emily Wyman and Hallie Young won a close match over freshman Erica Frommer and graduate Emily Aaldenburg, 9-7. The first doubles pairing of senior Emily Laurilliard and sophomore Melanie Frank pulled out a hard-earned 9-8 win.

RPI lost all of the singles matches against the Saints. However, both Frommer at first and Laurilliard at second fought valiantly. Frommer won the first set of her match handily, 6-1. But her opponent Morgan McNeal improved in the second set, winning 6-3. The final set was a tiebreaker that went down to the wire, but in the end McNeal earned the victory 10-8. Laurilliard persevered after losing the first set 6-1, prolonging the match by winning the second set 6-3. But, like Frommer, she fell 10-8 in the decisive tiebreaker.

Vassar took the first point against RPI on Sunday afternoon, winning third doubles by a final score of 8-3. The Engineers stormed back with wins from Wise and Grullon Gonzalez at first doubles and seniors Sherman Uyeno and Anthony Kim at second.

In singles, Wise won 6-3, 6-1 to put Rensselaer up 3-1. But, soon after, wins by Vassar at fourth and fifth singles evened the score. RPI would not be deterred, though, as Uyeno secured a 7-5, 6-4 win at second to put the Engineers one point away from victory.

Grullon Gonzalez delivered that point at third singles. After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, he took control of the match, winning the final two sets 6-2 each.

Men’s tennis improves to 6-7 overall and 3-2 in the Liberty League while women’s tennis falls to 5-8 overall and 2-2 in the Liberty League. Next up for women’s tennis is a home match against William Smith college on Sunday morning. The men will play at Union College at 4 pm today.