Defending Champions Claim Top Seeds Entering Tennis Championship
BALTIMORE, Md. – After claiming conference titles in 2012, the Binghamton men and the Stony Brook women have earned the top seeds for the 2013 America East Championship at the UMBC Retriever Tennis Complex in Baltimore, Md., April 26-28. The Binghamton men enter as the top seed for the fourth straight season while the Stony Brook women claimed the top spot after becoming the lowest seed to ever win the America East Championship a year ago.
Rounding out the men’s bracket is No. 2 UMBC along with No. 3 Stony Brook and No. 4 Hartford. On the women’s side, Albany grabs the No. 2 spot and it will be matched up against No. 3 UMBC while Binghamton and Hartford, the No. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively, will battle in the first round.
Binghamton’s record stands at 14-9 overall and it has won nine of its past 10 matches entering the America East Championship. The Bearcats were also 3-0 in conference matches, only yielding one point in matches versus Hartford, UMBC and Stony Brook before having a match with Boston U. cancelled. Freshman No. 1 Sid Hazarika (Coventry, England) has been spectacular in his first season as a Bearcat, posting a 20-3 singles record, including a 9-1 mark from the top spot. Junior Ruben Haggai (St. Denis, Reunion Island) is another strong contributor for the Bearcats and has posted a 20-9 mark in single plays this season.
UMBC is led by freshman No. 1 Justin Carter (Randallstown, Md.) who is off to a great start in his career, posting a 15-9 mark in singles play. Carter, a three-time America East Player of the Week, pairs with senior Gaulthier Berret (Lagny Sur Marne, France) as a formidable combo at the No. 1 doubles slot. Berret also reached the 50 win plateau in singles play this season, and stands at 55-34 for his career. UMBC finished the regular season 8-8, winning three of its last five.
Stony Brook enters the championship having won four matches in a row. Mons Knudtzon (Oslo, Norway) figures to be one of the Seawolves most important players as No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Marcelo Locatelli (Londrina, Brazil) has also played to a 4-3 mark at No. 4 singles this year.
Hartford rounds out the group after a 3-17 regular season. The Hawks will count on Josh Isaacson (Marietta, Ga.), who posted an 8-8 mark at No. 4 singles, to lead the upset bid against Binghamton.
The Stony Brook women are coming off of an impressive win at last year’s America East Championship. Not only did they win as a No. 4 seed, they also knocked of Boston U., which had won 18 consecutive conference titles, in the process. The Seawolves are back this year with the reigning America East Player of the Year in Nina Lagvilava (Tbilisi, Georgia). The senior posted an excellent 12-1 mark from the No. 1 singles position and will pair with Polina Movchan (Kiev, Ukraine) at No. 1 doubles. Also keep an eye on freshman Jackie Altansarnai (Hinsdale, Ill.), who posted a 9-3 mark in singles play.
Albany enters as the No. 2 seed after some impressive victories during the regular season. The Great Danes went 3-1 against conference opponents this season and the play of Rocio Lopez Alberca (Madrid, Spain). After transferring from Georgia Tech, the junior was 15-4 in singles play including a 13-4 combined mark between No. 1 and 2 singles.
UMBC will look to knock off the Great Danes behind the play of Josefin Stange-Jonsson. The junior was an impressive 11-3 this season at No. 4 singles. She will also be a big factor for the Retrievers at No. 2 singles, where she paired with freshman Shannon Cleary to go 3-2 this season.
With four freshmen on its roster, Binghamton was 1-3 against conference foes this season. One of those freshmen, Sara Kohtz (Chicago, Ill.) had a 9-8 mark in singles play this season, including a stellar 9-4 combined mark in the No. 2 and 3 slots.
Katina Zampas (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) will lead Hartford in the first round against Binghamton. The freshman played the majority of her singles matches at the No. 1 slot, earning two victories.
For complete championship information, including the tournament bracket and match times, visit Championship Central.