Bulls End Regular Season With 6-1 Win Over Ball State

Ethan Nittolo

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – The University at Buffalo men's tennis team won their fourth straight match on Friday afternoon as the Bulls closed out the regular season with a 6-1 win over Ball State as UB clinched the second seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament with a 6-1 league record.

In doubles, Ball State got out to the early advantage with a victory at one, but junior Vilhelm Fridell and sophomore Nickolas Frisk came back to win the second doubles match, 6-3.  The Bulls clinched the doubles point at three as sophomores Valdemar Holm and Matthew Johnson scored a 7-5 victory to give UB the early lead.

The Bulls won the first set in five of six matches in singles and won four of those matches in straight sets. Junior Hao Sheng Koay opened the action with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at third singles and Johnson followed that up with a 6-4, 6-1 win at five.  UB then clinched the match at second singles as Fridell dropped just two games in a 6-1, 6-1 win.

Freshman Simon Wibler then won 6-1, 6-3 to increase UB's lead to 5-0, while senior Ethan Nittolo won in a super tiebreaker at first singles.  On his senior day, Nittolo won his opening set 6-1 before falling in the second 6-3.  Nittolo then came away with the victory in the super tiebreaker, 10-5.

"I thought we started a little slow in doubles and got down some breaks early, but our guys are resilient and we snuck out the doubles point a little bit closer than I would have liked, but in singles it was straight focus all the way through," said head coach Lee Nickell. "Ethan's match was tough today, but he was resilient and fought, and that match really summed up his entire career.  He has gotten better every day and he's taken advantage of everything. Overall, I can't even begin to quantify what he has meant to me and this team."

As the number two seed, Buffalo will receive a first round bye in the MAC Tournament next week and will play in the semifinals on Saturday at 2pm against the winner of the #4/#5 quarterfinals match.  The entire MAC Tournament will take place in Kalamazoo, MI.