STONY BROOK, N.Y. – The 2013-14 Quinnipiac University men's tennis season is underway as the Bobcats competed in the first day of the Stony Brook Invitational on Friday at the University's Tennis Courts in New York. Quinnipiac excelled in its first day of competition, where three Bobcats – Sebastian Barbero (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Eric Ambrosio (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.) and Kei Ezaka (Ojai, Calif.) – advanced to the semifinals of their respective flights in singles play.
"It was a strong first day for the Quinnipiac Bobcats," said men's tennis head coach Mike Quitko, who is entering his 23rd season at the helm of the program. "I was happy with our play, especially in during the singles segment, as we had three players advance to the semifinals. It was a very good outing for our team."
Barbero and Ambrosio picked up right where they left off from a year ago; advancing to the semifinals of Flight B. Barbero cruised past Hamilton's Devin White, 8-0, in the first round; and then outlasted Michael Feldman of Steven's Institute in a third-set tie-breaker, 2-6, 6-4, 12-10. Barbero picked up career wins No. 51 and 52 - 18 of which are in a Bobcat uniform.
Ambrosio, who is in the top half of Flight B, added a pair of wins to his collegiate résumé as well. Ambrosio defeated Hofstra's Adrien Bailly, 8-5, in his first match of the day; followed by a three-set thriller over Stony Brook's Albert Fontova in his next match. Ambrosio picked up his 58th career win with a 6-3, 6-7, 10-7 decision in the quarterfinal match-up.
The final Bobcat to advance to the semifinals was Quinnipiac's four-star recruit from Ojai, Calif., Kei Ezaka. Ezaka collected his first career collegiate victories with back-to-back wins through the first two rounds. Ezaka defeated Ian Antonoff of Hamilton, 8-2, in his first match, and then followed with a come-from-behind win over an opponent from Concordia in the quarterfinals. Ezaka battled back from a four-point deficit in the tie-breaker and prevailed with a 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 win in dramatic fashion.
Patrick Sell (Neuenbuerg, Germany) was credited with the other win for the Bobcats, as he defeated an opponent from Steven's Institute for his first college win. The win came in consolation play of Flight A. Alain Grullon (Santo Domingo, D.R.) also fell short in his opening match but will compete in the consolation bracket tomorrow morning.
In the doubles portion of the event, Quinnipiac paired Ambrosio and Sell together in Flight A, and Andrew Weeden (Martinsville, N.J.) and Luke Roser (Bernardsville, N.J.) together in Flight B. Weeden competed in his first match since the 2011-12 campaign after taking a medical redshirt last year. Both teams fell short in their respective match-ups.
Day two of the Stony Brook Invitational begins tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.