ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (April 27, 2019) – In what would be their last competition of the season, the SUNY Delhi men's tennis team made a strong stand at the NAC/NEAC East Division Tournament. With the four-team tournament taking place throughout the day at The Edge tennis center, the third-seeded Broncos advanced to the finals with a 5-4, down-to-the-wire semifinals win to upend two-seed MCLA. Delhi shortly after took on top-seed Thomas, where the Terriers claimed a swift 5-0 win.
First-year Broncos Christopher Balogh (Westtown, NY / Minisink Valley) and Jake Robinson (Oneonta, NY / Oneonta) were awarded to the All-Tournament Team following competition. The two each earned both a doubles and singles wins in their opening contest against the Trailblazers, including Robinson pulling out the decisive, three-set victory at six singles to move the Broncos to the finals. The sophomore also had a hand in the two doubles victory, while Balogh, a freshman, took wins at one doubles and two singles.
Under head coach Brian Mitko, SUNY Delhi finished the 2019 season with a 5-8 record, while earning the third conference tournament spot with a 2-2 record in league play. Saturday's semifinals victory over MCLA marked sweet revenge for Delhi, who were on the opposite end of a 5-4 contest in its regular season finale meeting with the Trailblazers on April 18. Interestingly enough, it was Robinson who came up short in that match's deciding contest at five singles.
SEMIFINALS: DELHI 5, MCLA 4
The Broncos led, 2-1, after the doubles competition. The one tandem of Marcos Andrino and Christopher Balogh beat Charles Najimy and Matt Bluteau by an 8-4 score, repeating their success from the previous week's matchup. The two team of Payton Dean and Jake Robinson seconded that notion, pulling out a tiebreaking 8-7 (4) victory over Nick Castle and Samantha Gawron. In a close matchup at three, Delhi's Brody Rettle and Michael Zerniak fell two points shy of Briana Higgins and Mackenna Jordan, 8-6.
Balogh got Delhi even closer, wrapping up his two singles match with Matt Bluteau first with 6-3 and 6-0 victories. Payton Dean would get the Broncos' next win at three, defeating Nick Castle by matching 6-1 scores. But the Trailblazers posted singles wins at one, four and five, coming out of one and five with tiebreakers, to bring everyone's attention to the deciding match at six between Delhi's Jake Robinson and MCLA's Briana Higgins. Robinson took the first set, 6-2, before Higgins came back to claim the second by a similar score.
DOUBLES (Order: 1,3,2)
- Marcos Andrino / Christopher Balogh (DELHI) def. Charles Najimy / Matt Bluteau (MCLA) 8-4
- Payton Dean / Jake Robinson (DELHI) def. Nick Castle / Samantha Gawron (MCLA) 8-7 (4)
- Briana Higgins / Mackenna Jordan (MCLA) def. Brody Rettle / Michael Zerniak (DELHI) 8-6
SINGLES (Order: 2,3,1,4,5,6)
- Charles Najimy (MCLA) def. Marcos Andrino (DELHI) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
- Christopher Balogh (DELHI) def. Matt Bluteau (MCLA) 6-3, 6-0
- Payton Dean (DELHI) def. Nick Castle (MCLA) 6-1, 6-1
- Samantha Gawron (MCLA) def. Michael Zerniak (DELHI) 6-2, 6-1
- Mohamed Mahrous (MCLA) def. Bailey Lane (DELHI) 4-6, 7-5, 7-5
- Jake Robinson (DELHI) def. Briana Higgins 6-2, 2-6, 6-1
FINALS: THOMAS 5, DELHI 0
The Broncos had a quick turnaround following their semifinals victory on their way to playing top-dog Thomas in the finals. The Terriers rapidly swept the doubles competition, with the closest contest coming at three, where Brody Rettle and Michael Zerniak dropped an 8-4 match to Christo Naranja and Jose Afonso. Thomas then picked up straight-set wins at one and two singles to clinch the victory. Marcos Andrino fell to Ryan Chasse at one, 6-1 and 6-0, while Christopher Balogh was bested by Kaleb Payson at two, 6-3 and 6-0.
- Ryan Chasse / Kaleb Payson (THOMAS) def. Marcos Andrino / Christopher Balogh 8-0
- Jared Waterhouse / Yontz Sutton (THOMAS) def. Payton Dean / Jake Robinson 8-0
- Christo Naranja / Jose Afonso (THOMAS) def. Brody Rettle / Michael Zerniak 8-4