Daniel Puryear, Contributing Writer
Men’s Tennis opened up match play at home Friday with victories against Campbell University and Drexel University at the Thalhimer Tennis Center.
The Rams hosted Drexel first with a 6-0 sweep.
Duos junior Inaki Rivero Crespo and sophomore Timo Zgraggen, and senior Arvid Noren and sophomore Inigo Torre Martin secured the doubles for the Rams with 7-6 and 6-4, respectively. Junior Javier Amantegui and senior Philip Mobius fell short to Drexel, 6-3.
The Rams did not let up in singles play with Amantegui (6-1, 6-2), Noren (6-2, 6-4) and Crespo (6-4, 6-2) all crushing their Dragon opponents. Freshman Stefan Petrovic and Martin all kept it close with 6-3, 7-5 and 7-5, 7-5, respectively.
With the momentum in hand from the 9 a.m. match, VCU went into its 4 p.m. doubles play with a fury. The Rams attacked the Campbell Fighting Camels with a 3-0 wins in doubles with the Noren and Martin pairing taking the set 6-4, Petrovic and Amantegui with 6-4 and Mobius and Crespo sweeping with 6-0.
Singles play came a little closer than in the early matchup with Drexel. Dustin Werner, a key member for Campbell’s doubles play, edged by Petrovic with a 7-5, 6-4 win. Noren kept it tight with a three-set win after a 2-6 first set. Martin and Amantegui both eased past their Fighting Camels opponents.
After the first matches of the new year and the first play for the Rams since Nov. 4, coach Anthony Rossi was satisfied with the team’s 6-0 performance against Drexel and 4-1 against Campbell.
“I feel good, two wins,” Rossi said. “It’s never easy with the first matches of the season. We haven’t played since October, November. So, you have to get in the rhythm again. We played two matches in one day and their bodies aren’t use to that either. So, we are just happy to get two wins.”
Though, it is the beginning of the season, two matches in one day allows the players and coaching staff to see what the team is capable of and needs to improve on.
“Like I said in the beginning, we just need to play more matches, throughout the season we will get better,” Rossi said. “This morning was a little off at times, even in singles. We missed some easy balls we usually don’t miss but, in the afternoon, it got better.”
“We’re going to take one day at a time. We will see how they feel tomorrow,” Rossi said. “We’ve got a little time to recover and then I think the Georgetown match will play a little bit better than this morning and afternoon. The same thing with next week, we have the U of R game and then we go into kick-offs. We just try to build a good rhythm and a good momentum match after match.”
The Rams stay at home and host the Georgetown Hoyas on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 p.m. VCU will also see its conference and hometown rival, Richmond, on Thursday, Jan. 24 at home.
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