March 8, 2011
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The St. John's men's tennis team opened its spring break trip in Charleston, S.C., with a pair of victories at the Earle Tennis Center on Tuesday. The Red Storm defeated James Madison, 4-3, prior to defeating Division III opponent Case Western by a 6-1 margin.
With the wins, St. John's improves to 8-2 on the season, marking one the best start in program history. Following the victories, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its weekly Top 75 DI Men's Tennis Poll, with the Red Storm coming in at No. 64. The ranking is the first in program history for the squad.
STJ opened play Tuesday morning with a hard-fought win over the Dukes (4-4) of JMU. The Red Storm took two of three doubles matches to go up 1-0 early in the match. Duos of Pavel Cerny and Mike Lampa and Milo Hauk and Gustav Kallen earned 8-6 and 8-2 wins in doubles play, respectively.
The Dukes quickly tied the match a one with a win at No. 2 singles, but sophomore Matty Najfeld helped STJ get the lead back with his third-consecutive win at No. 6 singles.
Kallen gave the Red Storm a 3-1 lead in the match with his fifth-consecutive singles win at the No. 4 spot, but JMU came back once again with two-straight wins at the No. 5 and top singles positions.
For the second time in three days for the Red Storm the match came down to No. 3 singles. After winning the opening set 6-2, Hauk dropped the second frame 5-7 to JMU's Florent Sentenac to level the match, but Hauk came back to win the tiebreaker by a 6-4 margin for his third-consecutive victory and clinch STJ's seventh dual-match win of the season.
The Red Storm took on DIII member Case Western (4-5) in its afternoon match and prevailed over the Spartans 6-1. Case Western entered the match as the 21st-ranked team in the ITA DIII Top 30 Poll.
STJ duos of Cerny/Lampa and Hauk/Kallen once again took their respective doubles matches to go up 1-0 in the match.
St. John's took five out of six singles matches, all in straight sets, to earn the win. Case Western earned its lone point at the No. 6 singles position with a 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 win over junior Dustin Goldenberg. It was Goldenberg's first singles match of the season.
Najfeld improved to a team-best 9-1 in singles matches this season with a 6-0, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles, while Kallen won his team-best sixth-straight singles battle.
The No. 64 St. John's men's tennis team returns to action with its final match in Charleston tomorrow when it meets Southern Conference affiliate Furman University at the Earle Tennis Center at 11:00 a.m. The Paladins are 1-10 on the season.