Story first appeared in the April 23, 2015 Edinboro University Spectator, which is distributed on campus and around the town of Edinboro.
Edinboro’s men’s tennis team played 19 matches so far this season.
None were more important than Sunday’s.
The Fighting Scots battled the Golden Bears of Kutztown Sunday afternoon at Bloomsburg University for the regular season finale, which turned into a winner-take-all match to decide the PSAC Men’s Tennis Regular Season Champion. When both squads left Bloomsburg, it was Boro who was able to claim that title.
Head coach Lee Underwood and company defeated Kutztown 7-2 Sunday to finish the regular season, 13-6 overall and 5-0 in the PSAC, earning the PSAC Men’s Tennis Regular Season Championship, and claiming the top seed in this weekend’s PSAC Men’s Tennis Championship at Bloomsburg.
Both Edinboro and Kutztown came into the match undefeated, with the Scots emerging as the lone undefeated team left in the conference.
Also, Boro defeated Bloomsburg 8-1 on Saturday.
“I think all along we were in line to be able to do that,” Underwood said of claiming the regular season crown. “We had some regional losses that could have gone either way. We have been able to peak the last several years here in April and we have done very well. I feel that if we got outside, we would get better, we are a better outside than inside team. We are starting to play better as a unit now.”
The pair of weekend wins were the fourth and fifth straight wins for Edinboro.
Another ongoing streak is Vitor Albanese’s dominance at the top singles slot. The freshman won nine straight singles matches, including his 6-2, 6-3 triumph against Kutztown’s Varun Desai on Sunday. The continuous performance earned the Brazilian the PSAC Men’s Tennis Player of the Week honors for the week ending April 19, following up teammate Bruno Borja, who received the accolade the week prior.
“I think I’ve had a good beginning here in the Boro,” Alabanese said, who came on the team this semester. “Coach Underwood, Coach Alex [Bush] and my teammates have helped me so much getting started here at Boro. I just think about winning the next match. I don’t think far in advance. I just take small steps and I don’t care how many matches I win. I want Edinboro to win and I want to help.”
The only setbacks the Scots suffered in Sunday’s match were at number two and number six singles. Boro swept doubles in both of their weekend matches, which has become a strength for the Scots as of late, according to Underwood.
“We are starting to get very consistent results from the guys, especially out of our doubles. We are at a very high level with our doubles and we are looking to start peaking,” he said.
Edinboro will need to continue the doubles success when it heads east for the PSAC Championships. The Scots face #4 West Chester, whom they defeated 6-3, earlier this season, indoors.
Second-seeded Kutztown battles #3 Mercyhurst in the other semi-final match. Both contests are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday. The championship is slated for 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Boro faced the other two semi-finalists as well, defeating Mercyhurst 5-4 on April 8 and their Sunday triumph over Kutztown.
Underwood knows the schedule and all that lies between Edinboro and its second-straight PSAC crown, after claiming its first since 1976 last season, but he is focused in on West Chester.
“I got West Chester coming up and that is the only thing on my mind,” Underwood said. “If we are lucky enough to beat West Chester, then I’ll be thinking about the next team we play the next day. I’ve been doing this for 24 years and you cannot look ahead and we are not going to.”
Edinboro (12-6, 4-0 PSAC) 8 Bloomsburg (4-10, 1-3) 1
1. Vitor Albanese def. Jean Paul Jones 6-0, 6-4
2. Matias Aignasse def. Gilberto Machado 6-4, 6-0
3. Mike DiSanto def. Bruno Borja 6-3, 5-7, 12-10
4. Daniel Fernandez def. Scott Langenbach 6-1, 6-2
5. Juan Estepa def. Nenyi Micah 6-4, 7-5
6. Anmol Sandhu def. Denis Ikejiri 6-4, 6-3
1. Albanese/Romain def. Paul Jones/DiSanto 8-6
2. Borja/Aignasse def. Machado/Langenbach 8-0
3. Estepa/Fernandez def. Micah/Cioffi 8-5
Edinboro (13-6, 5-0 PSAC) 7 Kutztown (14-4, 4-1) 2
1. Vitor Albanese (EU) def. Varun Desai (KU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Matt Maguire (KU) def. Matias Aignasse (EU) 7-6, 7-5
3. Bruno Borja (EU) def. Joan Oliver Perez (KU) 6-0, 6-2
4. Daniel Fernandez (EU) def. Rich Lichtenwalner (KU) 0-6, 6-4, 6-1
5. Juan Estepa (EU) def. Gabriel Nogara Souza (KU) 6-0, 7-5
6. Indi Reverte (KU) def. Anmol Sandhu (EU) 6-3, 6-3
1. Albanese/Romain (EU) def. Maguire/Lichtenwalner (KU) 8-5
2. Borja/Aignasse (EU) def. Desai/Beebe (KU) 8-6
3. Estepa/Fernandez (EU) def. Souza/Reverte (KU) 8-2