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Knights’ success assures best finish ever for CCRI at Tennis Nationals!


MorinNick Morin

Day three of the NJCAA Division III Tennis Nationals was not as kind as Day two, but was still kinder than any other third day in recent history at the Nationals. The Knights, started the day with seven of the nine starting positions still in play in the main draw and the remaining two positions in back draw contention, finished the day with six of the nine still in the tournament. For the first time in recent history, CCRI tennis has players playing on the final day of the tournament with four in main draw contention and two in back draw finals.
The first match of the day to take to the courts was sophomore Michael Fallone (North Providence, RI), the second seed in first singles. His opponent, Montgomery Rockville’s Dykhyun (Alex) Park, is the only player representing his school. Park and Fallone traded breaks in the first four games and Michael had his chances in both sets, but ended up succumbing to the Maryland player, 7-5 and 7-5. This ended Michael’s Junior College singles career with a back draw championship, a semi-finals berth, and a DIII player of the year award.
As the third seed in second singles Anthony Lamborghini (Smithfield, RI) took to the courts facing the No. 1 seed in flight No. 2 singles, Matt Kallenberg from Nassau Community College in the semifinals. The match was one of the tournament’s best as Lamborghini and Kallenberg truly battled to a three-set thriller, ending with Lambo falling to the 1 seed Kallenberg, 6-2, 3-6  and 6-4.
In third singles Nicholas Elkind-DeAngelis (Northborough, MA) received a walkover win as his opponent suffered a tournament-ending injury in his main-draw match. Nick will face Adam Czaplinski from Mercer County Community College in the back draw finals.
In fourth singles Ross Bouchard (Smithfield, RI) took to the courts as the second seed, facing off against Jeff Castera from Mercer County Community College in the semifinals. As with the earlier match this season, the pair split the first two sets, and this match came down to a full third set, rather than just a match tiebreak. Bouchard, a battle-tough player from South Kingstown’s 13-year state champion tennis team, drew from that experience and prevailed over Castera, 6-4, 3-6 and 6-3, propelling him into the finals. Bouchard is guaranteed at least second team All-American honors, but is gunning for a National championship at fourth singles and 1st team All-American honors. He will face the No. 1 seed, Vladislov Koldomasov from two-time defending national champions, Gloucester County College.
In fifth singles Timothy Holzinger (Foster, RI) took to the courts against Michael Lem from Oxford College in the back draw. Tim prevailed to make the back draw finals by defeating Lem, 6-4 and 6-4. Holzinger will face Matt Edwards from SUNY-Adirondack in the back draw finals.
In sixth singles Nicholas Morin (North Smithfield, RI) took to the courts against Mason Padron of Onondaga Community College in the semifinals. Morin cruised to a 6-1 and 6-3 victory, earning a spot in Thursday’s finals and assuring himself at least Second Team All-American honors. He also has his sights set on National Champion and First Team All-American honors as he will face Robert Mastrontoni of SUNY- Adirondack.
In first doubles No. 3 seeded Fallone and Lamborghini took to the courts against the No. 1 seeded team of Judd Bahoui and Pasha Shapouri from Nassau Community College in the semifinals. After dropping the first set in a close tiebreak 6-7(7-5). The RI pair then re-focused and prevailed in the next set 6-4, forcing a deciding third set. They carried their momentum into the third, ultimately winning 6-2 to set up a show-down of the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds of AJ Moore and Donovan Vassalotti of Gloucester County College in the finals.
In second doubles Bouchard and Holzinger faced off against the No. 2 seeds Vladislav Koldomasov and Andrew Pfeiffer from Gloucester County College, and fell to the two sophomores, in a tough-fought match, 6-4 and 6-4, ending their 2012 campaign in doubles with their sights set on 2013.
The last CCRI team of the day was the second seed third doubles Morin and DeAngelis. They faced off against Matt Edwards and Shawn Weinberger of SUNY- Adirondack and won in three sets. Finishing the match 6-3, 0-6 and 6-3 they each earned their spot in the finals to face theNo.1 seeds, Aaron Williams and Jon Sjolander of Gloucester County College.
Team Point totals after Day 3:
1. Gloucester CC - 30.5
2. CCRI - 27
2. Nassau - 27
4. Mercer Co. - 19
5. SUNY Adirondack - 16
6. Onondaga CC - 15
7. Oxford College - 11
8. Montgomery College - 4
9. Brookdale CC - 3
10. Suffolk Co. - 2
11. Kingsborough CC - 0
The Knights have six of the nine positions, four main draw and two back draw, playing on the final day for the first time in CCRI history. The Knights are currently tied for second place overall with Nassau Community College with five points in play, compared to Nassau’s 3.5.  Five out of the six CCRI team members have already assured All-American honors and have a shot at First Team as well as National Champion honors for the final day, any one of which would mark the first National Champion in CCRI tennis history, and all of which mark the first time a male player has earned that honor in tennis. Five All-Americans are the first in CCRI Men’s Tennis history. Nicholas Morin (N. Smithfield, RI) has an opportunity to win both sixth6 singles as well as third doubles, becoming the first double National Champion in CCRI history and is already assured of double All-American honors for the first in CCRI history. The Knights are assured of a top-three finish, and still has a fighting chance at second overall as a well as a mathematical chance at a Team National Championship which represent the highest in CCRI Tennis history.

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Last Updated: 3/6/18