Staff, wire reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
ERIE, Pa. —
The men’s tennis team from Bluefield State College was tested by some of the region’s top individuals — and in some cases, by each other — and came out winners at the Atlantic Region Championship of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on Sunday.
The three-day competition began Friday at Pennbriar Athletic Club in Erie, hosted by Mercyhurst University.
For the third consecutive year a BSC athlete has won the regional championship. Newcomer Vishwesh Sinha defeated teammate Jacob Carey 6-4, 6-1 for the singles championship.
Pitor Kruk and Carey combined to win the doubles. In the championship match, it was a three-set thriller against Sinha and Shikhar Kapur, the 2010 Atlantic Regional champion, but Kruk and Carey pulled it out by scores of 6-4, 4-6, 10-5.
It was the Big Blues’ second consecutive year winning the doubles title.
Sinha came into the tournament seeded no. 1 in the championship bracket and did not disappoint. Carey advanced to the finals as the no. 2 seed.
The Big Blues also saw success in the “B” bracket as Guatam Sreeram and Conner Pickering won the “B” doubles championship after defeating Gabe Seymour and Rico Williams from University of Charleston 8-3.
“Three out of the four semifinalists in singles were our players,” said BSC tennis coach Louis Belt. “I think it showed how deep our team is this year.”
Kruk said, “It was a great tournament for us. Our toughest matches were against each other.”
“The team this year is the strongest so far we have ever had. We have two new players and no one graduated so the team is even better. And last year we reached the nationals as a team.”
Kruk said, “For me, it’s a big deal. It’s the biggest success so far. Hopefully we will represent our school really good. I will do my best, and never give up.”
Carey said, “It was good. Even though it was a singles and doubles tournament, it was good to see how we’d do against teams from other areas.” He said Bluefield State’s success is “a good sign regionally and nationally.”
Kruk said about playing teammates in tournaments, “We know each other, we hang out a lot, all the time together. We know how we play. It’s really tough to play against each other. It’s hard to enjoy a match like that.”
Sinha, Kruk and Carey will now prepare for the UTSA/ITA National Small College Championships to be held Oct. 11-14 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Ala.
The West Virginia Conference men’s tennis season is conducted in the spring semester.