Men’s College Tennis
Rider University 5, Rutgers Camden 2
LAWRENCEVILLE—The Rider University men’s tennis team won its first match of the season, scoring a 5-2 non-conference victory over Rutgers Camden on Wednesday afternoon.
“It is always good to get the first win and break the ice,” said head coach Ed Torres. “Our team was a little more experienced. The guys played steady and cut down on their errors, the best job they’ve done so far this year.”
For Rider (1-1), senior Rollie Malfitano (Wenonah/Gloucester Catholic) won 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and senior Nick Lubold (Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley) scored a 6-1, 6-3 victory at third singles. Malfitano and Lubold teamed up for an 8-5 win at first doubles.
“I thought the team did really well today,” said Lubold, one of two senior captains on the squad. “We are a young squad but they (the freshmen) are getting the hang of playing Division I. In my doubles match, we came out a little tense and then loosened up and ended up winning. The singles match went well. I’m not used to playing singles that often but I was able to battle against a tough competitor.”
“Nick is a very intelligent guy and is a people person,” Torres said. “He talks well but is also a solid tennis player. He has improved his game this past year and not many players at this point in their career, improve from season to season. He hits the ball hard but is more under control. And he is also a wonderful leader of the five freshmen we have on the roster. His teammates look up to him and he can back it up with good play.”
Also for the Broncs, senior Kyle Stratton (Stratford/Sterling) won 6-2, 7-6 (7-1) at fifth singles and freshman Matthew Begley (Pennington/Hopewell Valley Central) picked up his first collegiate victory with a 6-1, 6-0 verdict at sixth singles.
Freshman Adam Levi (Princeton Junction/Pennington School) and freshman Ed Chogllo (South River) won 9-8 (8-6) at second doubles and Stratton and senior Sean Sweeney (Franklinville/Delsea Regional) were 8-4 winners at third doubles.
“I thought everyone played a strong doubles match,” Lubold added. “The doubles point matters because it takes the pressure off having to only win three of the six singles matches (instead of four) so that was the case today and was a big help.”
“In these matches, it is important to get that doubles point,” Torres said. “Going into singles having to win four singles matches is difficult. It is much easier from a team stand point to only have to win three of the six singles matches.”
Both the Rider men’s and women’s tennis teams travel to Hofstra Saturday for an 11 a.m. match.