RICHMOND, Va. – The view is nothing new for Head Coach Paul Kostin of the Virginia Commonwealth University men's tennis program.
Which view is that you ask? The view from the top of the CAA standings as Kostin's Rams locked up yet another top seed for the CAA Tournament with a 5-2 defeat of their longtime rival, William & Mary, on Friday evening.
"The top seed doesn't really matter because you still have to win matches once you get to the tournament," Kostin said. "But I will say I'm proud of the way our guys have battled through some of their nagging injuries. At this point in the year, everyone has injuries to deal with, but not everyone can still win critical matches. Our guys were able to pull together and do just that."
VCU (19-5, 5-0 CAA) sent a message early to the Tribe by sweeping through the doubles matches to quickly grab a 1-0 cushion.
Sophomore Jamie Vazquez Catoira (right) kept momentum with the Black & Gold by dropping Ben Guthrie, 6-2, 6-3 at the third singles spot. Senior Tim Johannsen did what leaders are supposed to do and throttled Anton Andersson at the top singles position, 6-2, 6-4, to bring the Rams within one point of locking up the victory.
That task would be completed by junior Filip Svensson, who dropped Daniel Mihalov at the fifth singles spot, 6-2, 6-3.
"Our guys did a good job of getting on top early and staying on top and that was led by our experienced players," Kostin. "The young guys learned some things today and now we'll take the next couple weeks to improve upon that and be ready for the CAA Tournament."
Sophomore Max Wennakoski was the final Ram to notch a win on the day, battling to a 4-6, 7-6, 10-6 win at the second singles spot.
The Rams wrap up the regular season with an 11 a.m. showdown with James Madison next Saturday at the Thalhimer Tennis Center.
VCU 5, William & Mary 2
#1 – Johannsen def. Anton Andersson (W&M), 6-2, 6-4
#2 – Wennakoski def. Jamie Whiteford (W&M), 4-6, 7-6, 10-6
#3 – Baroz def. Ben Guthrie (W&M), 6-2, 6-3
#4 – Sebastian Vidal def. Vazquez Catoira, 7-6, 6-4
#5 – Svensson def. Daniel Mihalov (W&M), 6-2, 6-3
#6 – Ben Hoogland def. Argente, 6-2, 6-4
#1 – Salomon/Vazquez Catoira def. Guthrie/Vidal, 8-6
#2 – Baroz/Johannsen def. Banks/Orre, 8-5
#3 – Svensson/Wennakoski def. Andersson/Whiteford, 8-5