May 14, 2010

Courtesy of St. Joseph's (LI)

AMHERST, MA - St. Joseph's College of Long Island earned a 5-4 win over Salve Regina University Friday morning in the 2010 NCAA Divison III Men's Tennis Regional Championship First Round, which was played indoors at the Hampshire College Bay Road Tennis Club.

The Seahawks (13-11) had their nine-match win streak come to a halt, while the Golden Eagles improved to 15-4 and will take on regional host Amherst College Saturday at 9 a.m.

With the match tied at 4-4, Kyle Barnett '10 sealed his program's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory with a come-from-behind win at No. 5 singles. Barnett dropped his first set to Salve Regina's Brian Castrichini '12, 6-3, but came back to tie things up with a 7-5 win in the second set. With all eyes on the deciding match, Barnett came through with a convincing 6-1 third-set win.

Salve Regina took a 2-1 lead into singles play, with Aaron Isch '13 and Steve Masso '10 giving the Seahawks a quick 1-0 lead with an 8-0 win over Barnett and John Funk '10 at No. 2. The Golden Eagles made it 1-1 when Nick Donadio '11 and Shaun Heinlein '12 defeated Salve's Castrichini and Tyler Yusko '13 at No. 3, 8-4.

The top doubles match provided fans with an instant classic, as Salve Regina's Zachary Rosenfeld '12 and Chad Strong '13 came out on top in a marathon match with Daniel Celentano '10 and Erik Forsythe '11. Each team held serve late to send the match into a tiebreaker, where the Seahawk pair jumped out to an early 3-1 lead. The Golden Eagles battled back to take a 4-3 lead, and the rest of the bout was a back-and-forth affair that ended with Salve edging out a 12-10 win.

Funk and Forsythe gave St. Joseph's a 3-2 lead by defeating Rosenfeld and Strong at No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, but Isch tied things up at 3-3 with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Donadio at No. 4. Heinlein handed the lead back to the Golden Eagles with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Yusko in the sixth match, but Masso earned an impressive victory against Celentano in an outstanding No. 1 bout. Celentano took the first set, 6-4, but Masso came back to take the second set, 6-3, before winning the tiebreaker in the third set, 7-6(6).

When Masso wrapped up his win at No. 1, Barnett and Castrichini began their third set, with Saint Joseph's keeping its season alive with the biggest win in program history. As the first team in school history to compete in three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, the Golden Eagles are 15-1 in their past 16 matches and have won six straight.

St. Joseph's College (L.I.) def. Salve Regina University, 5-4
NCAA Regional Championship First Round
Friday, May 14 @ Hampshire College

1. Zachary Rosenfeld/Chad Strong (SRU) def. Daniel Celentano/Erik Forsythe (SJC) 9-8(10)
2. Aaron Isch/Steve Masso (SRU) def. Kyle Barnett/John Funk (SJC) 8-0
3. Nick Donadio/Shaun Heinlein (SJC) def. Brian Castrichini/Tyler Yusko (SRU) 8-4

1. Steve Masso (SRU) def. Daniel Celentano (SJC) [4-6], 6-3, 7-6(6)
2. Erik Forsythe (SJC) def. Chad Strong (SRU) 6-0, 6-0
3. John Funk (SJC) def. Zachary Rosenfeld (SRU) 6-1, 6-3
4. Aaron Isch (SRU) def. Nick Donadio (SJC) 6-3, 7-5
5. Kyle Barnett (SJC) def. Brian Castrichini (SRU) [3-6], 7-5, 6-1
6. Shaun Heinlein (SJC) def. Tyler Yusko (SRU) 6-1, 6-1