The Tribe (2-3) started its conference play in style on Sunday, Feb. 6, trouncing Elon (0-4) 7-0, starting the momentum for its forthcoming CAA slate.
Beginning the onslaught was the doubles series, all three of which went to the Tribe. In the No. 1 position was junior tandem Harrison Brown and George Davis, who knocked off their Phoenix opponents 6-4 to earn the early advantage. Next in the No. 2 slot, graduate student Chen Ruo and senior Joseph Brailovsky cruised to a 6-3 victory, upping their record together to 9-2 on the year in the process. Completing the clean sheet in doubles were graduate student Finbar Talcott and senior Daniel Pellerito with a second 6-3 scoreline.
No. 1 singles was a slight battle, with Davis tied one set to one with Phoenix top man Kyle Frankel. The third set even went to a tiebreaker with Davis prevailing 7-6 for the narrow victory. No. 2 singles also went three sets, with Brown surviving 7-6, 6-7 and 10-8 in another tiebreaker.
It was No. 3 and No. 4 singles that proved the killer in the series, with both graduate student Sebastian Quiros and senior Jack Kelly winning in straight sets. Quiros handled his opponent 6-3, 7-5 and Kelly prevailed 7-5, 6-4.
These gave the Tribe a significant advantage, but it was the dominance in third sets that turned the victory into a domination. In the No. 5 singles slot, Brailovsky dropped the second set 2-6 after winning the first 6-2, but squeezed out the decisive third 7-6. At No. 6, Ruo dropped the opening set 2-6 but recovered strongly to win the second and third 6-4, 6-4.
The Tribe returns to action against familiar opponent Radford on Sunday, Feb. 13, in the friendly confines of the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at 1 p.m. It will look to get back to .500 as it begins somewhat of a tour of Virginia schools, facing off against Old Dominion, Richmond and James Madison in the remaining weeks of February.