STORRS, Conn. – A year ago around this time, the Quinnipiac University men's tennis team was in great spirits after winning four of the eight singles flights at the UConn Invitational. On Friday afternoon, the Bobcats returned to their instate rivals' tournament and picked up right where they left off last year. Quinnipiac advanced six players into the semifinals with several strong individual showings on the first day of the three-day invite.
"We seem to play well here and like traveling to UConn for this tournament," said head coach Mike Quitko. "Now that we are four weeks into the fall season, our guys are gaining more and more confidence with each time out. That, coupled with our fitness consistently improving, really helped us perform well today."
Like last year, the invitational featured eight flights with one Quinnipiac player in each. Six Bobcats - Kei Ezaka (Ojai, Calif.), Patrick Sell (Neuenbuerg, Germany), Eric Ambrosio (Lloyd Harbor, N.Y.), Alain Grullon (Santo Domingo, D.R.), Ryoma Haraguchi (New York, N.Y.) and Ben Teicher (Kendall Park, N.J.) – each advanced to the semifinals, which are set for tomorrow afternoon.
Ezaka picked up his fifth win of the season over Chanon Varapongsittkul of Boston University, 6-3, 7-6 (3); Sell advanced with a first-round bye; Ambrosio defeated Merrimack's Jimmy Barnhart for his 62nd career win; Grullon topped John Bogdanovich of Sacred Heart, 6-3, 6-2; and Haraguchi and Teicher collected their first career wins at Quinnipiac with victories over opponents from UConn and BU, respectively.
Sebastian Barbero (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Luke Roser (Bernardsville, N.J.) also took the courts for the Bobcats, but fell short in their quarterfinal match-ups. Barbero was defeated by Mario Sadoval (BU) and Roser was defeated by Jay Leelavanich (BU).
The 2013 UConn Invitational picks up again tomorrow morning with the doubles portion of the event. First serve is set for 9 a.m. with singles play to resume at 1 p.m.
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