Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Tennis traveled to the ITA Kick-Off Weekend Jan. 25-28 in Columbus, Ohio, falling short in all four matches.
VCU lost to Cornell Jan. 27, 4-1, with the lone Rams point coming from winning doubles.
Senior Arvid Noren and sophomore Inigo Torre Martin defeated Konstantin Kirovski and Daniel Soyfer, 6-0. Senior Philip Mobius and junior Inaki Rivero Crespo secured the point for the Rams as they knocked off Joe McAllister and Lev Kazakov, 6-3.
Singles play did not go as well — the Rams were swept 4-0. Sophomore Rayane Stable fell to Cornell’s Alafia Ayeni 2-6, 1-6. Noren was defeated by Kazakov after fighting to the end of the first set, falling 5-7, 1-6. Cornell’s Soyfer knocked Mobius off 3-6,1-6. Torre Martin was the final Ram to fall as Evan Bynoe beat him in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 1-6.
“We have learned a lot from this weekend,” junior Men’s Tennis player Javier Amantegui told VCU Athletics. “The team is motivated and ready to get back to work for our next matches. We are on the right track, we just need to believe more in ourselves and try to play a little bit more aggressive at some points.”
The Rams played Jan. 27 and fell to Michigan State 4-0. VCU fell in three singles matches and two doubles matches, but were victorious in the other doubles match.
VCU started off doubles with a win as sophomores Paola Exposito Diaz-Delgado and Kanako Yano defeated Nicole Stephens and Lauren Lemonds, 6-1. Sophomore Melissa Ifidzhen and junior Noumea Witmus lost to Emily Metcalf and Maja Pietrowicz, 6-2. Sophomores Marina Alcaide Bakkari and Sofia Sualehe fell to Davina Nguyen and Samantha Memije, 6-2.
Sualehe fell to the Spartans’ Nguyen 6-0, 6-1 as the first match to finish between the two squads. Yano lost to Emily Metcalf 6-3, 6-0 and was the second match to finish. Spartan Nicole Stephens knocked off Witmus 6-2, 6-4 and was the final match to finish, securing the win for Michigan State.
Coach Paul Kostin said to VCU Athletics that the team “came out flat,” and the fact that senior Anna Rasmussen couldn’t play because she had a fever didn’t help.
“I didn’t think we played well enough to make it up, but give [Michigan State] credit,” Kostin said. “They jumped on early and we just couldn’t catch up. Overall, we fought hard but came up short.”
Men’s Tennis will return to action Feb. 1, hosting ETSU at 2 p.m. Women’s will return home to play Davidson Feb. 3 at 11 a.m.