STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Behind the stellar play of freshman Kei Ezaka (Ojai, Calif.), the Quinnipiac University men's tennis team concluded a tremendous all-around showing at the Stony Brook Invitational on the University's campus in New York. Ezaka won the Flight A singles tournament in a three-set thriller to become the first Bobcat to win a singles tournament at the SB Invite.
"We had a great opening weekend of tennis," said head coach Mike Quitko. "Kei was incredible. He fought back from a one-set deficit, and then battled back a second time when he was trailing late in the third-set tie-break. It's not easy adjusting to collegiate tennis, so to accomplish this feat in his first tournament is pretty impressive."
After progressing through the first two rounds yesterday, Ezaka continued forward and advanced into the championship match with a win in his first match of the day. Ezaka, who was in the top half of Flight A, knocked off ASA's Tim Srkala in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6, in the semifinals and moved on to face Concordia's Benas Majauskas in the finals. Ezaka lost the first set, 2-6, but responded nicely with a 6-2 win in the second set and an 11-9 win in the third set. Ezaka went 4-0 throughout the weekend in singles play.
Joining Ezaka with a great weekend was junior Eric Ambrosio (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.), who also made his way to a championship match. Ambrosio, who was playing in the top half of Flight B, advanced to the finals with a three-set win over Concordia's Tomasz Olfans, 4-6, 6-0, 10-7, but couldn't prevail in the finals. Ambrosio was defeated by Juuso Ojanen, 6-1, 6-1 – who advanced to the championship with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Quinnipiac's Sebastian Barbero (Buenos Aires, Argentina). Ambrosio was credited with his 59th career victory in the semifinals.
Also back in action for the Bobcats was Patrick Sell (Neuenbuerg, Germany) and Alain Grullon (Santo Domingo, D.R.). Sell added two more wins to his young career with victories in the semifinals and finals of the Consolation A bracket. Grullon fell short in the semifinals of the Consolation C bracket.
The Bobcats are back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 18 with a non-conference match against a familiar foe. Quinnipiac welcomes St. Francis (N.Y.) to Hamden for a showdown at the QU Outdoor Tennis Courts on Mount Carmel Campus.
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