BALTIMORE, Md. – For the second straight year, the men from Binghamton and the women from Stony Brook find themselves atop America East tennis. Both teams posted impressive victories in the championship match and will now await their respective draws in the 2013 NCAA Championship.
Binghamton continued its recent dominance of America East tennis, cruising to a 4-0 win for its sixth straight conference championship. The Bearcats brought the energy from the first serve and their No. 1 doubles pairing of senior Bastian Bornkessel (Bochum, Germany) and freshman Sid Hazarika (Coventry, England) exemplified that attitude, delivering the 8-3 win that clinched the first point of the match.
In singles play, the Bearcats seemed to pick it up a notch. The championship’s Most Outstanding Player, Ruben Haggai (St. Denis, Reunion Island), started things off with a dominant 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 5 to make the score 2-0. At No. 4 singles, Ismael Dinia (Rabat, Morocco) picked up the next point with a 6-3, 6-3 victory. The attention then turned to No. 1 singles where Hazarika was facing off against UMBC’s Justin Carter (Randallstown, Md.). In the first set the two freshmen put on a show, going back and forth throughout. Hazarika was able to prevail in the first set 7-5, but then everything clicked for him in the second set, as he won 6-0 to seal the match and the championship for Binghamton.
In the women’s finals, Stony Brook got dominant performances from its top players to earn a second straight conference title. The Seawolves started off strong with a pair of 8-5 wins in doubles play to earn the important first point. Nini Lagvilava (Tblisi, Georgia) and Polina Movchan (Kiev, Ukraine) had the win at No. 1 while Cassie Dix (Northhamptonshire, U.K.) and Becky Shtilkind (Brooklyn, N.Y.) prevailed at No. 3.
While Albany came back from a 1-0 deficit after doubles play in the semifinals, Stony Brook proved to be too strong in the singles portion on Sunday. Lagvilava, ranked No. 115 in the ITA women’s national singles rankings, led off with an impressive 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 1. The senior’s performance earned her Most Outstanding Player honors, as she won both of her singles matches in the America East Championship. Movchan followed with a win at No. 2 to make the score 3-0 and bring the Seawolves within one point of the title. Playing at No. 4 with a swarm of Stony Brook fans and teammates cheering her on, Dix clinched the championship with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
The NCAA tennis team selection show will take place this Tuesday, April 30. Men’s pairings will be announced starting at 5:00 p.m. while the women’s brackets will be revealed starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information on this year’s championship, visit Championship Central on AmericaEast.com.