Dudley, Mass. – Host Nichols College jumped out to a 2-1 lead after doubles and went on to post a 7-2 win over Clark University in non-league men's tennis action on Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars, who were playing their first match since returning from their Spring Break trip in Florida a little more than three weeks ago, slips to 5-6 overall.
The Cougars answered right back with a win at No. 3 doubles. Sophomore Andrey Samodaev (Boca Raton, Fla.) and junior Vladislav Tolmachev (Perm, Russia) defeated sophomores Kiril Ivanov and Igor Markowski, 8-5.
The Bison jumped back into the lead with a gritty win from No. 1 doubles, 9-7. Sophomore Blake Norton and freshman Brandon Howard – the reigning Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively – defeated freshman Jack Han (Bakersfield, Calif.) and junior Lenny Siegel (Boca Raton, Fla.).
The Bison handled business in singles-play – only dropping No. 2 singles where Han defeated Howard 6-1 in the first set and was leading 2-0 in the second set before Howard retired due to illness.
Barbosa earned a clean win at No. 3 singles 6-0, 6-0 over Samodaev before freshman Jack Donaldson earned a point at No. 6 singles – winning 6-1, 6-3 over Siegel.
At No. 4 singles, Smith defeated Tolmachev, 6-4, 6-3, and then senior Jake Zapatka got the best of Nicola-Antoniu 7-5, 6-1 at No. 5 singles.
Norton and Gill were the last match to finish in the top flight with both student-athletes taking a set before playing a tiebreaker third set that saw Norton pull out the win, 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 14-12.
All-Time Series & Streaks:
This was the first meeting between the Bison and Cougars since 2009 with the Bison winning the last two meetings. Clark still leads in the all-time series at, 12-3.
Clark (5-6) – Tuesday, April 4 vs Rhode Island College, 3:30 p.m.
Nichols (7-2) – Saturday, April 1 at Western New England, 12:00 p.m.