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Albanese captures 2015 PSAC men’s singles crown

Story first appeared in the Spectator on Sept. 17, 2015 and on edinboronow.com on Sept. 18, 2015.

Vitor Albanese was seen as somewhat of a favorite at the 2015 PSAC Singles and Doubles Championships at Bloomsburg University last weekend. Those thoughts were probably warranted.

The second-year Fighting Scot claimed the 2015 PSAC Men’s Singles championship, winning the two-day, rain-soaked tournament. “Going in I thought he was going to be the person everyone was going to have to beat,” head tennis coach Lee Underwood said in a phone interview Monday morning.

Albanese earned the championship with an 8-2 win over Travis Beck of Mercyhurst, who was the fourth seed in the tournament. To get to the finals, Albanese had to face teammate Mateus Santos in the semi-finals, where Albanese earned a 6-0 victory. The Brazilian sophomore was the top seed in the men’s bracket over the weekend.

In the first round, Albanese defeated Bloomsburg’s Leonardo Nakasone 6-0, 6-1 and Joaquin Aguilera of Mercyhurst 6-4 in the quarterfinal round. “His movement was real good,” Underwood said about Albanese’s play. “He kept his shots deep in the court which kept the opponents backed up. He didn’t particularly serve very well. He served well in the final, but leading up to that he didn’t serve particularly well. Overall, I thought he did well.”

Two new Fighting Scots, Mauricio and Mateus Santos, also competed in the men’s singles competition. Both advanced from the first round, but Mauricio was bounced in the quarterfinals by the second-seeded Nenad Terzic of Mercyhurst, 4-6 (5), in a tiebreaker.

Edinboro was represented in the men’s doubles competition as well. Mateus Santos teamed with Daniel Fernandez for one team while Albanese partnered up with Kevin Mboko, the latter duo being the second seed in the bracket. Underwood summed up the play of his men’s squad this past weekend. “We had Danny and Mateus in doubles,” he said.

“They got off to a bad start in their loss. We talk so much about how precious the serve is and we didn’t take care of it. Mateus played Vitor the way Mateus wanted to play. I didn’t think that Mateus hit the ball out of the strike zone very well. When they played before in practice it’s been very close. I expected it to be very close there, but it wasn’t.”

A few female Fighting Scots competed in the women’s championship as well. Julia Hellstern and Laura Lopez were battling in the singles bracket as Lopez teamed with Anastasiya Dasik in the women’s doubles competition. Hellstern and Lopez advanced from the first round, but fell in the second round. In doubles the tandem of Lopez and Dasik fell 8-0 in their first match.

Underwood talked about the trio’s play. “I thought Julia and Laura did okay in singles. They did alright. In doubles, we didn’t have the intensity we needed to start in that match. We blew some opportunities that were given to us. West Chester had a really nice doubles team that had been together before. I thought we could have done better.”

The women’s team is busy this week, hosting Westminster for a match at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The ladies then competed in the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional Championship this weekend in Erie. The men’s regional championship will follow next weekend.

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