Everything went the Rams’ way on Sunday, Feb. 15, with the men’s tennis team grabbing two swift victories over Radford University and George Mason University at home.
The Rams defeated the Radford Highlanders 5-0 in the first matchup. Junior Michael Voscek, sophomore Catalin Fifea, sophomore Wilder Pimentel and sophomore Jacob Svensson grabbed four straight singles matches. In one doubles match, freshmen Louis Ishizaka and Antonio Battle Rodriguez defeated Radford’s redshirt sophomore Samuel Taylor and freshman Nikhil Mannepalli 6-0 and 6-4.
Voscek grabbed the first singles match over RU’s senior Patrick O’Keef 6-4 and 6-0. Fifea grabbed the singles win over Radford’s freshman Michiel Meekers. Fifea won round one, 6-2 and Meekers took round two, 7-6. Finally in round three, Fifea took the win 7-1. Pimentel’s win was over Radford’s freshman Jose Moreno Manzano with a 6-4 win in round one. After falling to Manzano 6-4 in round two, Pimentel grabbed round three, 10-7. Svensson finally won the fourth singles match over Radford’s sophomore Janken Thoen in two quick rounds 6-4 and 6-2.
The second match over George Mason was the first Atlantic 10 match of the season for the Rams and they started things right with a 4-1 victory over the Patriots.
The first three singles matches went to VCU. Voscek won the first match 6-0 and then 6-2 over Mason’s sophomore James Lange. Fifea won the second match over Mason’s junior Aaron Capitel 7-5 in the first round. Capitel won 7-6 in the second but Fifea finished it 7-3 in the third. Pimentel won the third match swiftly over Mason’s junior Conor Moran 6-1 and then 6-3.
Junior Tanner Baine was the only Patriot to manage a win for Mason in the fourth singles match. Battle Rodriguez fell 6-4 in round one and then again was bested 6-4 in the second round.
Svensson and Ishizaka won the doubles match over Mason’s senior Joe Hill and freshman Daniel Gutierrez 6-4 in both rounds. Overall the wins sealed a 4-1 victory for VCU.
With the wins, the Rams improved their record to 10-3, and started off A-10 play with a record of 1-0. VCU will host North Carolina State University and Howard University on Friday, Feb.27.