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Men’s tennis gets two wins to start season

The UNF men’s tennis team endured a long Saturday, but it came through with two victories as the season begins to take shape.

Convincing wins over both Georgia State and Florida A&M Jan. 22 made head coach Igal Buberman a happy man, and he feels the season is setting up nicely for his team he said.

“Both teams were tough competition, and it was a tough test fitness wise and tennis wise,”  Buberman said. “Overall though, it was just good preparation for the rest of the season.”

The Ospreys won all of their doubles matches over the course of two matches on Saturday. They began with Georgia State. UNF sophomore Moritz Buerchner and freshman Pedro Davisson teamed up for the No. 1 game and won 8-5 over Breon Badger and Trenton Spinks.

In the second doubles game, senior Hleb Maslau and sophomore Daniel Sotomarino defeated Victor Valente and Juan Pablo Gutierrez of GSU, 8-3. Freshmen Anton Rabinov and Beuregard Treyz fought hard in the third doubles match to win 8-7(7-4) over Vincent Verpeaux and Lucas Santana.

Buberman said he was delighted with the doubles play and said the extra training for doubles has paid off.

“Usually I try to develop the players individually,” Buberman said. “I’m a very technical coach. However, we have focused more on the doubles recently because the doubles will be very important for us. Also, the new recruits all have very good volleying techniques, which is vital in doubles play.”

The Ospreys then won No. 1, 3, 4 and 5 singles with Buerchner, Sotomarino, Treyz and Nahar all winning their matches. Maslau fell to Valente 6-4, 6-2 and Davisson lost in a close match to Verpeaux 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8).

Buberman didn’t single out any of his team for good performances but instead praised the chemistry the team showed throughout the day.

“They all showed that they want to be there and compete for the same team,” Buberman said. “It was good to see them struggling together, competing together and succeeding together.”

After going undefeated through doubles against Florida A&M, the Ospreys won four of the remaining six matches. In the Singles No. 1, Buerchner defeated Takura Happy 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a closely fought encounter, where tensions were running high for both players.

Maslau and Sotomarino recorded victories over Levan Clark and Maurice Wamukowa in the No. 2 and 3 singles respectively, and Leonardo Nahar beat his counterpart Chide Gabriel 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 in the No. 4 match.

Beuregard Treyz fell to Michael Moore 6-4, 6-4 in the No. 5 match and Anton Rabinov lost a tough match to Temuera Asafu-Adjaye 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Although they were both challenging matches for his squad, Buberman said the season is going to gradually get tougher.

“Our goal before every match is to try and pick one thing to focus on, and then talk about it after the game,” Buberman said. “It’s a learning experience.”

Senior Hleb Maslau said the team’s performance pleased him and the squad has real depth this year.

“We have a very solid team,” Maslau said. “1-6 is very good and the backups, very interchangeable. We have no issues with injuries and all work very hard.”

Maslau also thinks the team has a great shot at the conference and praised the new freshman Pedro Davisson.

“I feel we have a very strong team this year,” he said. “Last year, we had a very good team, but this year we have a great chance to win the conference. The new freshman Davisson is also No. 1 in doubles right now and is doing very well.”

The teams next game will seem them travel to Wilmington, N.C., for a match against UNC Wilmington on Feb. 4.

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