Sophomore Ilija Vucic won his team-best 18th singles match of the season to lead the Red Storm to a 5-2 victory at Georgetown Friday.
April 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Entering its final two matches of the regular season, the No. 57 St. John's men's tennis team was back in action after a 12-day layoff in our nation's capital on Friday afternoon and came away with a 5-2 victory over BIG EAST rival Georgetown at the McDonough Outdoor Tennis Complex. The win completed the Red Storm's unbeaten league slate and snapped the Hoyas' perfect home record and five-match winning streak.
St. John's improves to 16-6 overall and 3-0 in conference play with the win, tying the most regular season wins under head coach Eric Rebhuhn. Georgetown, which entered the matchup on a five-match winning streak and with a perfect 8-0 record at home, falls to 13-7 overall and 1-1 in BIG EAST action.
The Red Storm fought hard to take the opening point, grabbing wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Sophomore Ilija Vucic and senior Stefan Bojic paired to defeat Andrew Dottino and Alex Tropiano by an 8-4 margin to give STJ the early advantage. Shortly after, junior Vasko Mladenov and senior Milo Hauk won their No. 1 doubles match in a tiebreak, 9-8 (7-2), to secure the 1-0 lead for St. John's. The Hoyas claimed a 9-8 (7-4) win at the third doubles flight.
Georgetown quickly leveled the match at 1-1 with a straight-set 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 2 singles, but St. John's would retake the lead with a 7-5, 6-1 win from Vucic on the third court. Vucic, who has won nine of his last 10 matches, improves to 18-4 in singles play, marking the most singles wins for a St. John's player since teammate Mike Lampa earned the same amount during the 2010 campaign. With the Red Storm up 2-1, freshman Kurt Anbarci notched his fifth win of the season, a 6-3, 6-2 decision at No. 4 singles to give STJ a 3-1 lead.
The Hoyas' Andrew Bruhn would cut the deficit to one with a gritty 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over 66th-ranked Mladenov at No. 1 singles, but Lampa would go on to seal the match moments later with his 13th win of the season, a 6-1, 6-4 victory at the No. 5 slot. Sophomore Matty Najfeld put the finishing touches on the match with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Casey Distaso at the No. 6 position to give the Red and White the final 5-2 margin.
The squad is back in action for its regular season finale on Saturday when it travels to Richmond, Va., for a matchup with the 36th-ranked VCU Rams. VCU enters the match on a six-match winning streak and currently sits at 18-4 overall. First serve is slated for 11 a.m. at the Thalhimer Tennis Center, where the Rams are 15-1 on the season.
Following the regular season finale, the Red Storm will compete in the annual BIG EAST Conference Championship in Tampa, Fla., from Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22. Seeding for the event will take place on Monday, April 16.
To track the St. John's men's tennis squad throughout the weekend and at the annual conference championship, follow the team on Twitter (@STJ_Tennis) and use the #STJTennis hashtag to join the conversation.
#57 St. John's 5, Georgetown 2
1. Andrew Bruhn (GU) def. #66 Vasko Mladenov (STJ) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
2. Charlie Caris (GU) def. Milo Hauk (STJ) 6-2, 6-4
3. Ilija Vucic (STJ) def. Andrew Dottino (GU) 7-5, 6-1
4. Kurt Anbarci (STJ) def. Shane Korber (GU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Mike Lampa (STJ) def. Brian Ward (GU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Matty Najfeld (STJ) def. Casey Distaso (GU) 6-2, 7-5
1. Milo Hauk / Vasko Mladenov (STJ) def. Andrew Bruhn / Brian Ward (GU) 9-8 (7-2)
2. Ilija Vucic / Stefan Bojic (STJ) def. Andrew Dottino / Alex Tropiano (GU) 8-4
3. Charlie Caris / Casey Distaso (GU) def. Valentin Mihai / Mike Lampa (STJ) 9-8 (7-4)
St. John's 16-6, 3-0 BIG EAST; National ranking #57
Georgetown 13-7, 1-1 BIG EAST
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,4,1,5,6)