Thai WilsonContributing Writer
The men’s tennis team continued its seven-game winning streak after defeating the University of Texas at San Antonio on Sunday.
The Rams had two other games against the University of Charlotte and the United States Naval Academy, Friday and Saturday at the Thalhimer Tennis Center in Richmond.
Along with the continued winning streak, graduate student Iñigo Torre Martin and freshman Joaquim Almeida received Atlantic 10 Performer and Rookie of the Week honors from the conference, for the games played March 28 to April 3, according to the A-10 website.
Despite the team’s recent success, head coach Anthony Rossi said the team’s focus is on taking its schedule a day at a time.
“We’re looking at one match at a time, so I didn’t even know that we had won six games in a row,” Rossi said.
Friday: April 1 versus University of Charlotte 49ers
The Charlotte 49ers won both doubles sets, giving Charlotte a 1-0 lead at the start of the game.
The games featured some key matches, like Intercollegiate Tennis Association ranked No. 119 VCU graduate student Iñigo Torre Martin versus Charlotte graduate student Mikhail Sokolovskiy, and VCU junior Maxence Bertimon versus Charlotte sophomore Stefanos Savva.
Maxence Bertimon won against Savva in his second set to guarantee the Rams its second point, giving the black and gold a lead of 2-1.
In the third game to finish, Charlotte graduate student Thomas Brown beat VCU senior Charles Bertimon to tie the game 2-2. Martin then won his match against Sokolovskiy in two sets changing the overall score to 3-2.
VCU senior Rayane Stable finished his match first in two sets to tie the game 1-1 and VCU sophomore Matisse Bobichon won his match, ending the game in the Ram’s favor with a score 4-2.
Saturday: April 2 versus United States Naval Academy
Coming off a win against the 49ers, the Rams played the United States Naval Academy on Saturday.
VCU started strong by winning the doubles point. VCU sophomore Matisse Bobichon and freshman Joaquim Almieda, along with junior Maxence Bertimon and junior Tom LeBlanc gave the Rams an early 1-0 lead.
Next came the singles matches, where Navy sophomore William Pak won his singles match against LeBlanc in one set due to a forfeit by LeBlanc, leading to a tying score of 1-1.
The black and gold answered back in the next singles match with VCU senior Rayane Stable going 2-0 in his sets to give the Rams a 2-1 lead over Navy.
Stable’s win was a momentum shifter, as Almieda won two sets in a row to make the score 3-1 to finish his match. Bobichon finished his match in two sets, securing the win for the Rams with a score of 4-1.
Sunday: April 3 versus University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners
The Rams came out the gate swinging by securing the doubles point with the help of wins from VCU senior Rayane Stable and graduate student Iñigo Torre Martin, along with freshman Joaquim Almieda and sophomore Matisse Bobichon. This gave VCU a 1-0 lead to start the game.
Even though his doubles match went unfinished because VCU already secured the doubles point, VCU senior Charles Bertimon commented on the team’s ability to work together.
“We work a lot in doubles, even though it’s only one point for the team. It makes the difference in the end, and I think it is just that we keep the momentum when we finished our balls, ”Charles Bertimon said.
In the singles matches for the Rams, Almieda defeated UTSA sophomore Garrett Skelly in two sets to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Rams. Bobichon also beat UTSA fifth-year Javier Gonzalez in two sets. The win added another tally to the black and gold’s score, making it 3-0.
UTSA freshman Tiago Torres won his match against VCU junior Maxence Bertimon in two straight sets to make the score 3-1, but the Roadrunners failed to win the three remaining matches to secure the win.
While the two other matches occurred, the match between Martin and UTSA sophomore Sebastian Rodriguez came to a close. Martin won the match in two sets, which awarded the black and gold the final point needed to finish the match 4-1.
Martin said he was happy about the team’s win, but looks to the future preparing for the upcoming games.
“We’re just gonna go one day at a time. We started practice and the day we have matches we just give our best every single point and let’s see what’s the outcome, ”Martin said. “That’s the only thing we can do.”
The black and gold will travel to Jimmy Powell Tennis Center in Elon, North Carolina on Friday, April 8, to face the Elon University Phoenixes.