Bearcats tennis defends CUNYAC title


John Neves | Baruch Athletics

Dani Heba, Sports Editor

The Baruch College Bearcats have defended their CUNY Athletic Conference men’s tennis championship following a 5-0 win versus the Hunter College Hawks on May 5 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.

Christopher Tham was named Finals MVP for his performances in his doubles and singles matches in the Bearcats’ win. The team’s win streak increased to nine with the team having played multiple shutouts like this game leading up to the tournament.

The game started off with a sweep of the doubles matches, 3-0, in yet another strong showing by the men in this match format.

Tham and Abhinav Srivastava took the No. 1 doubles match 8-1, in what was the Hawks’ only point in the entire set of doubles matches.

Jim Bauer and George Arteaga swept the No. 2 doubles match 8-0, while Nicholas Santiago and Piers Seidman swept the No. 3 match, 8-0.

Only two singles games needed to be completed, the No. 2 match and the No. 1 match, in that order.

The No. 2 match saw Srivastava sweep the Hawks’ Jairo Baquero Molina, winning in two sets by a margin of 6-0 in each one.

The No. 1 match saw Tham defeat the Hawks’ Christopher Popvic in two sets, 6-0 and 6-1, respectively.

Per CUNYAC rules, once a team wins five matches, the competition is over. This is because there are a total of nine matches, three doubles matches followed by six singles matches, so it would be impossible for the other team to win once a team has amassed five wins.

The Bearcats ended the regular season in dominant fashion, boasting an 11-3 overall record and an undefeated 3-0 in the CUNYAC.

The Bearcats routed the Lehman College Lightning on May 1, sweeping them 5-0 in a game as dominant as the one they put up versus the Hawks.

This is the Bearcats’ fourth CUNYAC championship in a row. The men won in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Their 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19, and the 2021 season was entirely canceled, so the Bearcats were the defending champions through the pandemic.

Following a sweep of the CUNYAC playoffs, the Bearcats look to carry their momentum into their fourth straight and 10th overall NCAA Division III tournament appearance.

They will play Massachusetts Institute of Technology on May 13 in Vermont in an attempt to mount another winning run in the playoffs – this time across the NCAA Division III.