The St. Lawrence University men's tennis team opened its 2013-14 season this past weekend at the Ithaca Invitational in Ithaca, NY. The Saints competed in a round robin-style event with the hosting Bombers, Rensselaer and Mount St. Mary's, finishing the invitational with 17 total wins.
Sophomore Paul Barrett finished his weekend with a 4-2 record in three singles and three doubles matches, while first-year Elliot Solandt won all three of his singles bouts.
"I thought we played a strong opening tournament," said head men's tennis coach Neil Caniga, who made his debut with St. Lawrence at the Ithaca Invitational. "I'm very happy with the progress the guys are making so early in the fall portion of the season."
The invitational offers eight singles matches between each set of teams and four doubles matches as well. It provides an opportunity for a larger portion of each team's roster to gain valuable playing experience in the fall.
Barrett and Solandt joined Rhonny Rosario and Will Ballew in winning singles matches against Ithaca College, as the Saints and Bombers split 4-4. The Saints then won three of the four doubles matches, with Barrett and Rob Schmitz teaming to knock off David Andersen and Chris Hayes at the No. 1 spot, 8-4. Will Kauppila and Kevin Frommer also won their match, as did Ballew and Marco Amendola.
St. Lawrence swept Mount St. Mary's in the singles matches 8-0, but dropped two of the three doubles matches that were played. Schmitz and Barrett were double winners for the Saints against the Knights, though Schmitz needed three sets at No. 1 singles to knock off Greg Jacob 6-3, 2-6, 10-4.
Rensselaer showed it will be a team to be reckoned with in the Liberty League this season, as the Engineers dropped only two matches to St. Lawrence in their round robin meeting. Solandt was the lone Saint to won in singles, topping Andre Vorbrodt in straight sets (6-3, 6-3). He and his partner Amendola then earned the only doubles win for the Scarlet and Brown, 8-6, over RPI's Stephen Baxter and Anthony Kim.
The Saints men's tennis team will host their annual Fall Classic next weekend, Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15 at the Sammis Tennis Courts.