The Binghamton men’s tennis team captured two titles at the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Indoor Invite last weekend. Freshman Sebastian Quiros captured the flight six singles title, while the pair of senior Thomas Caputo and freshman Kushaan Nath captured the flight one doubles final.
“One of our goals was to take at least one flight title in singles and doubles, which we did,” said BU head coach Nick Zieziula.
The unlikely doubles pair of Nath and Caputo has thrived since being paired together in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Northeast Regional.
“[Caputo and Nath] have been a pleasant surprise because they were really an accidental pairing that ended up together at ITAs and made it to the quarterfinals,” Zieziula said.
They defeated Ball State pair of senior Lucas Andersen and sophomore Marko Guzina, 8-5, in their first match. Nath and Caputo then went on to defeat two Western Michigan pairs, 8-6 and 8-5, to win the title.
In flight six of the singles draw Quiros took two straight three-set matches in order to advance to the championship game. He then fought his way through another three-set match to pick up a win against Toledo sophomore Juan Carranza.
For Zieziula, however, the Bearcats’ success was not as great as it could have been.
“We were shooting for winning more of our matches combined, as a group, but in terms of our process goals and what we wanted to focus on, we just weren’t consistent sticking to those goals,” he said.
Many of Binghamton’s matches in the tournament featured frustratingly narrow losses.
“When we got away from [our process goals], that’s when we started to struggle … our record in tiebreakers was just abysmal,” Zieziula said. “In those pressure situations, that’s where it’s most important to stick to your tactical goals, your mental goals.”
Other notable Binghamton performances came in the singles draw. Caputo won his opening two matches to advance into the flight two title match before being defeated by WMU freshman Jannik Opitz in straight sets.
Sophomore Ludovico Cestarollo advanced to the singles flight three final. He defeated his first two opponents in straight sets before falling in a three-set match to Buffalo junior Vidit Vaghela.
Zieziula had hoped for a better performance but knows his team still performed well against foes they will see in the conference slate.
“We won a few matches, but we’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to be finishing up in the MAC Conference Tournament in April and make a run in that tournament,” Zieziula said.
The Bearcats will play their final matches of the fall season at the Cleveland State Invitational. First serve is set for Friday in Cleveland, Ohio.