JMU men’s tennis began its fall season Friday at the Liberty Invitational. The Dukes had an upper hand at points throughout the singles round, but ended up losing in three sets on the first day of the Invitational.
JMU sophomore Stephan Petrovic won the first set against ECU sophomore and No. 4 seed Diogo Marques in the singles round, but ended up losing the lead and the match to Marques in the third set 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7).
In a battle between two freshmen, JMU’s Holden Koons grabbed a dominating win in the first set against Liberty and No. 2 seed Goncalo Ferreira in his college debut. However, Ferreira pulled away with the victory, beating Koons 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Junior Alvaro Arce took a tough loss in two sets, while JMU sophomore William Karpinski fell to No.1 seed in the white draw. Karpinski advanced through the consolation rounds, ultimately defeating Kennesaw State senior Drew Lahey 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
In doubles, the JMU team of Arce and Koons lost 7-5 against Furnman’s Drew Singerman and Henrick Atlevi. Karpinski and Petrovic came down to the end but lost a tight 6-4 battle to Kennesaw State’s two sophomores, Harvey Maughan and Mritunjay Bodola.
“First tournament of the year is good to see where our guys are at,” JMU Assistant Jason Sinkoff said to JMU Athletics following the first day of the tournament. “Tomorrow, we look to bring better energy from start to finish in singles and in doubles.”
Day 2 of the tournament had its highs like Day 1, but the value of the good went higher when the Dukes began to win more matches. Koons won his first ever collegiate singles match in two sets 6-1, 6-4, making it a memory to keep in the books. He emerged victorious in his second match that day, winning the first set and second by a retirement from his opponent. Arce also won his match, setting up a contest between him and Koons.
“The guys played today with more confidence and energy,” Sinkoff said to JMU Athletics. “Every day, we are seeing improvement and look forward to tomorrow's challenges.”
On Day 3, the matchup between the two Dukes, Koons and Arce, occurred. Koons had the upper hand, winning the match in straight sets. Karpinski got another win on Day 3, but Petrovic suffered another loss. Koons and Arce got their first doubles win over Kennesaw State’s junior Bryan Triana and Seru Tezuka.
“Everyone competed well all weekend and played a little better every single day,” Sinkoff said to JMU Athletics. “We have a lot we still need to work on and look forward to this week of practice as we get ready for the Greensboro tournament next weekend."
JMU men’s tennis is headed to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the UNCG Invitational this coming Friday.
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