Binghamton University’s men’s tennis team scored two individual titles over the weekend at the Penn Invitational in Philadelphia, Pa. Sophomore Florian Van Kann and junior Ruben Haggai each took home a title: the title of the Hamlin Flight for Van Kann, and the consolation title of the Levy Flight for Haggai.
Van Kann’s play was unstoppable, as he notched four straight match wins on his way to earning the title. His final match was a 7-5, 1-6, 6-2 win against sophomore Sylvester Wee of the University of Pennsylvania.
“I was pleased with his performance,” Binghamton head coach Adam Cohen said. “He seemed to get better with each match and it was nice to see him claim his flight.”
Haggai also excelled at the invitational. After dropping his first match 5-7, 6-3, 10-2 to sophomore Adam Lawton of the University of Delaware, Haggai rebounded and won his next three matches. His victory in the consolation finals came against sophomore Chris Jimenez of Saint Francis University. Haggai dominated the match, winning 6-1, 6-0 to take home Binghamton’s second title. Lawton went on to claim the title of the Levy Flight.
When asked about Haggai’s ability to bounce back after a first round loss, Cohen acknowledged the junior’s resiliency.
“It’s a match that I think he and I both know he could’ve won and maybe perhaps should have won,” Cohen said. “That’s OK, you know, you learn from those experiences … He didn’t get too discouraged and he played well the next three rounds to [take] the back draw.”
The rest of the men’s team did not fare as well, however. Senior Bastian Bornkessel and sophomore Ismael Dinia both failed to record a match win in singles play. Bornkessel dropped his first match against Nicolas Paulus of Temple University, 7-5, 6-2, and lost his second match to sophomore Nolan Gelman of Delaware, 7-6, 6-4.
Dinia struggled as well, losing his first match to sophomore Jeremy Court of Penn, 7-6 (4), 7-5. Dinia managed to win a set in the second match, but ultimately fell to sophomore Matt Hagan of the University of Iowa, 7-6 (10), 4-6, 10-7.
The Bearcats could not find their rhythm in doubles play, either. The team of Bornkessel and Dinia went 1-1, beating Saint Joseph’s University, 8-4, but fell to Brown University, 8-5. The combo of Haggai and Van Kann stumbled in their only doubles match as well, falling to Temple, 8-5.
The Bearcats are set to head the Virginia Fall Classic, hosted by the University of Virginia, this weekend. Cohen said he was optimistic about the team’s potential.
“I just hope that some of the guys [that played] this weekend … continue to improve upon what they showed this weekend,” Cohen said. “And for some of the other guys that were off this weekend to … play competitively and to play smart.”
Play is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.