May 8, 2009

Courtesy of Ithaca Athletics

Middlebury, Vt. – The Ithaca men's tennis team (18-4) came from behind and won four singles matches to earn a 5-3 victory over Baruch (12-4) in an NCAA Tournament first round match at Middlebury. The Bombers rallied from a 2-1 deficit following doubles play and won four of the five doubles matches that were completed. It was the first NCAA Tournament win in Ithaca men's tennis history in their second NCAA Tournament appearance. Ithaca advances to face the top seed and host institution, Middlebury, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Ithaca's first doubles team of junior Taylor Borda (West Morris-Mendham/Chester, N.J.) and sophomore Josh Rifkin (Homestead/Ft. Wayne, Ind.) got the Bombers started with a quick 8-2 win to start off the match. Baruch won the next two doubles matches before Ithaca took control in singles play.

Freshman Jimmy Newton (Florida Virtual School/Englewood, Fla.) was a 6-3, 6-2 winner at third singles and freshman Dan Levine (Monroe-Woodbury/Highland Mills) won 6-2, 6-0 to give Ithaca its third match win of the day.

Baruch took the next singles point to even the score at 3-3, but a straight-set win by Rifkin at second singles put the Bombers in front 4-3 as the last two singles matches went to a third set.

Freshman Mike Muraco (Fayetteville-Manlius/Manlius) won the first set 6-2 at fifth singles, but dropped the second by an identical score. He fought back to win the decisive third set 6-2 and clinch the victory for Ithaca. The Bombers led the fourth singles match, which was not completed.