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Men’s tennis battles in last home matches of season, lose to Fresno City

Stephan Starnes

Freshman tennis player Anton Ulan hits the ball back to his opponent, Fresno City College player Alessandro Moriano, on March 19.

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The Cosumnes River College men’s tennis team took on the Fresno City College Rams at CRC Tuesday, but despite putting up a tough battle, the Hawks were unable to win a set against the Rams.

In their final duel match of the season, the Hawks put up a stiff competition, with several players winning several games throughout the day. However, Fresno City, state champions with several international players on their roster, eventually took victory in every set.

Head coach Scott Gradin sees the Rams as a very formidable opponent.

“Fresno is very skilled up and down the line,” Gradin said. “Their lowest player is probably the highest player in the rest of the conference. They have an international roster, so it’s very tough.”

The games began with doubles matches and ended with singles matches. Doubles ended quickly, as the Rams, such as Alessandro Moriano and Scott Gray, seemed to pair up more naturally than the Hawks players.

The Rams won each set of doubles, ending the first round of the day with three victories, two at 8-0, and one at 8-1. The Hawks seemed to find more comfort in playing individually, and performed better in the singles matches that followed.

Hawks’ sophomore Steven Le managed to take a point in his first singles set against Rams’ player Adam De Romas, eventually ending the set 6-1. In his second set, Le took an early lead on De Romas, winning a game, and then taking an additional point after an intense back and forth rally between the two players, bringing the score to 3-0, Hawks’ favor.

“When I was up 3-0 in the second set, it was a great moment, since I lost the first set” Le said. “It felt good, because I had a really slow start in the first set.”

In following games, De Romas came back swinging and pushed ahead to end the set with the score at 6-4, with the Rams in the lead.

Facing off against Moriano again after an initial doubles match with the Rams player, Hawks’ Freshman Anton Ulan fought hard in both his sets. The first set saw many close-calls for victories for both players, with one game ending with a score of 40-30, Rams’ favor. Ulan put the heat on Moriano in one play in particular.

“It was a long rally, and he (Moriano) was at the net and he hit a volley,” Ulan said. “I came running in and tried to fool him short across the court and he just barely brought it back.”

Moriano would eventually win the first set for the Rams at 6:2, as well as the second set at 6:0.

The Hawks couldn’t manage to pull ahead in their singles matches, and the games closed without a set win for CRC. Gradin was happy with his team’s overall performance against the Rams.

“We played pretty well today,” Gradin said. “Even though the scores might not

indicate it, we played some very competitive games, some very competitive points, and I saw improvement from most of the guys.”

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Men’s tennis battles in last home matches of season, lose to Fresno City