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Men's Tennis Eases Past Western New England College, 8-1

Ben Burnap Springfield, Mass. -- October 8, 2010 -- Led by a spectacular comeback by sophomore Ben Burnap at No. 1 singles, the Springfield College men's tennis team dominated their counterparts from Western New England College, winning as a team 8-1 this afternoon at SC's Julius Appleton Courts.

The win raises SC's record to 2-1, while WNEC falls to 0-1. Thus, SC completes the fall portion of its men's season.

Springfield had the better of it at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. The Pride produced victories at No. 2 by junior co-captain Zach O'Leary (Westboro, Mass.) and junior Doug Nickerson (Falmouth, Me.), 8-2, and at No. 3 by senior co-captain John Schrank (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) and freshman Joe Giannelli (Watertown, Conn.), 8-4.

But the Golden Bears pulled out a dramatic victory at No. 1 doubles. With the score 8-7 in WNEC's favor, the Golden Bear duo of senior co-captains Brian Relihan (Orange, Conn.) and Mike Jones (Stone Ridge, N.Y.) fought off five consecutive SC ad points, and finally defeated the Pride combination of Burnap (Westerly, R.I.) and senior Eric Henne (Bristol, Conn.) in the 16th game, winning 9-7.

The singles matches all went the way of Springfield. It began with a 6-0, 6-0 victory by Giannelli at No. 6 singles. And soon, numbers two through five all went in favor of the Pride. Those included Henne, O'Leary, Nickerson, and Schrank.

But the story of the day was provided by the steady play and never-say-die attitude of Burnap at No. 1 singles. Burnap found himself down, 5-2, in the first set. But then the first comeback came about with Burnap jumping out to a 6-5 lead over Relihan. The senior then tied it to force a tiebreaker.

The tiebreaker was a story in itself. Relihan played the first seven points extremely well to take a 6-1 lead, setting up five set points. But Burnap never lost his cool, winning the next five points, including a net cord to make it 6-5. After tying it at 6-all, Burnap again fell behind, 7-6, forcing another set point in Relihan's favor. Burnap, however, won the next two points, and forced the tempo from there-on to win the breaker, 10-8.

The second set went to Burnap, 6-2, giving SC the 8-1 team victory.

Final Score -- Springfield 8, WNEC 1

Doubles
1) Brian Relihan/Mike Jones (WNEC) def. Ben Burnap/Eric Henne (SC), 9-7
2) Zach O'Leary/Doug Nickerson (SC) def. Chris Holzinger/JonPaul Ouellette (WNEC), 8-2
3) John Schrank/Joe Giannelli (SC) def. Matt Minahan/Tyler Unwin (WNEC), 8-4

Singles
1) Ben Burnap (SC) def. Brian Relihan (WNEC), 7-6(8), 6-2,
2) Eric Henne (SC) def. Mike Jones (WNEC), 7-5, 6-2
3) Zach O'Leary (SC) def. Chris Holzinger (WNEC), 6-3, 6-1
4) Doug Nickerson (SC) def. JonPaul Ouellette (WNEC), 6-3, 6-3
5) John Schrank (SC) def. Matt Minahan (WNEC), 6-4, 6-4
6) Joe Giannelli (SC) def. Tim Santye (WNEC), 6-0, 6-0

Records:
Springfield -- 2-1
WNEC -- 0-1

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Head Coach Toby Coffin Toby Coffin G’01, enters his third year as the head men’s and women’s tennis coach at Springfield College. Coffin, who has coached at numerous high schools in the area, will look to build a program which will contend for a conference crown. Read more.

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