Men's Tennis Mounts Comeback to Defeat Fairfield, 4-3
April 3, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - One thing has become certain in 2011-12. Fordham men's tennis is not for the faint of heart. For what seems like happened in every contest this year, today's match with Fairfield came down to the final singles match with Mischa Koran besting Joe Michalisin to help the Rams pull out a 4-3 win.
With the win, the Rams improve to 15-8 on the year while Fairfield, who was ranked in the ITA College Tennis Top-75 earlier this year, falls to 9-3. Fordham also avenged a 7-0 loss to the Stags last year, a match where the Rams dropped five of the six singles matches in straight sets.
The match actually came down to the final two singles matches for Fordham as the Rams trailed 3-2 with sixth and third singles still being played. Fordham's Jan Krouham was battling Fairfield's George Tioutine at the sixth spot, taking the first set, 6-4, but dropping the second, 2-6. Krouham started off trailing in the third but came back strong to earn a 6-4 win, evening the match at 3-3.
"I'm happy for Jan," said Fordham head coach Cory Hubbard. "He's been injured so he hasn't had a lot of opportunity to play. He's finally getting healthy so I've been able to put him in and for him to step up in a situation where he has to win. He just battled hard and never gave in. Once he got the break back we really got the momentum going and we knew we could win."
A few minutes later, Koran sent a hard shot at Michalisin on the baseline that Michalisin couldn't handle, and Koran won the second set at third singles, 7-5, after taking the first, 6-3, to win the match for Fordham.
Fordham opened the match by taking the doubles point, winning both completed doubles matches. Srikar Alla and Max Peara got things started with an 8-6 win over Michalisin and Erik Kremheller at second doubles and Kuba Kowalski and J.J. Tauil took care of Dan Sauter and Dennis Zlobinsky at first singles, 8-5.
The Stags took the first two completed singles matches with Kremheller defeating Peara at fifth singles, 6-1, 6-0, and Dennis Zlobinsky beating Peder Gram at the fourth spot, 6-1, 7-5, to take a 2-1 lead.
Fordham tied the match at two when Kowalski won at first singles over Sauter, 6-4, 6-3, but Ian Tesmond defeated Alla at the second position, coming back to win the last two sets 6-3 and 6-4 after Alla took the first, 6-3, to give the Stags the 3-2 lead.
"Today was basically been a microcosm of every match we've played this entire season," said Hubbard. "Every match seems to come down to 3-2 with two matches left or 3-3 with one match left. We really put ourselves in position to win every match but came up short against the better teams. Today we were down 3-2 with two matches left, Jan was down a break in the third set and came back and won and Mischa clinched it in the end."
The Rams will next be in action on Friday, April 13th, as they open play at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championships at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.