Men’s Tennis on Fire to Begin Their Spring Season

In their first match of the week and third of their four-game win-streak, the Monmouth University men’s tennis team edged Fairleigh Dickinson in an evenly matched performance on Feb. 15, defeating the Knights 4-3.

The Hawks improved to 5-1 in head-to-head matches this season after taking the doubles point and earning three singles victories. Fifth year Niels Van Noord won at No.1 singles against Teodors Pukse with scores of 6-1 and 6-4. Senior Alexander Zuckerman won at No.5 singles as well, with scores of 6-4 and 6-2 over Gryffin Minor. With his victory, Zuckerman won his third consecutive singles match and is now 5-0 in dual match singles play this season. Senior Charlie Penman sealed the win at No.4 in three sets with scores of 6-4 bookending a 4-6 loss to Arjun Sriram in the second set.

Grad student Victor Castro, junior Dmitry Bezborodov, and senior Christof Zeiler each competed in singles matches, but were unable to come away with wins against the Knights’ trio of Justas Trainauskas, Mehdi Dhouib, and Joshua Oboniye. Bezborodov lost in three sets, and Zeiler lost via retirement in two sets.

Later in doubles, Monmouth was able to sweep all three matches. Victor Castro and Niels Van Noord defeated Thomas Linley and Justas Trainauskas 6-4, Charlie Penman and Christof Zeiler took down Younes Adnane and Mehdi Dhouib 6-5, and seniors Gabriel Busato and Arthur Dussaubat closed things out, knocking off Joshua Oboniye and Arjun Sriram 6-4.

The men’s tennis team then earned their fourth straight victory on Saturday after defeating visitors Queens College, 6-1.

The Hawks earned straight-set wins at No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 5, and No. 6 singles and won two of three doubles matches to secure the doubles point. Niels Van Noord handily defeated Cameron Henricy with two 6-2 sets, while Dmitry Bezborodov and Victor Castro each won in two sets, taking down Lucas Demuth and Roni Rikkonen, respectively. Mariano Bibiloni temporarily stopped the bleeding for Queens, defeating Alexander Zuckerman in three sets, 6-3, 2-6, 10-8. Lucca Silva answered back with a win over Omar El Shehawey in two sets, before Arthur Dussaubat brought singles matches to a close, acing Lluis Miralles Miro 6-2 and 6-0.

Monmouth then won two out of three doubles matches to secure the doubles point, and ultimately their 6-1 victory. Charlie Penman and Niels Van Noord defeated Lluis Miralles Miro and Kareem Rashad 6-3, Gabriel Busato and Victor Castro defeated Lucas Demuth and Roni Rikkonen 6-3, and Moritz Borges and Cameron Henricy defeated Monmouth’s Dmitry Bezborodov and Diego Laporta 6-4.

With his four total wins during the week, Niels Van Noord was named the CAA’s Men’s Tennis Player of the week. The Quebec native was previously named to the 2022 All-MAAC Second Team, No. 1 singles; 2022 All-MAAC First Team, No. 1 Doubles, and was also selected as 2022 ITA Scholar-Athlete.

The Hawks are now 6-1 on the season and will travel up to Princeton for their first road match of the spring for a meeting with the Tigers on Saturday, Feb. 25.