Men’s Tennis Defeats Fairfield


The Rams pulled away with their first win due to a thriller finish. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Men’s Tennis recorded their first win of 2023 this past weekend, defeating Fairfield University by a score of 4-3 at Cary Leeds Center in the Bronx. The Rams were able to bounce back from a disappointing previous weekend, when they were swept in two matches against Dartmouth College and Brown University.

Fordham secured the doubles point thanks to victories from two pairs of Rams. Junior Giorgio Soemarno and graduate student Quinn Fender combined to defeat Kaya Gore and Tolunay Sumer 6-3, while freshmen Dhillon Virdee-Oakley and Sampras Rakotondrainibe topped Alex Aguiar and Griffin Schlesinger 7-6.

In singles play, things got off to a shaky start for the Rams. After failing to secure a single set against Dartmouth and Brown, the Rams dropped their first three singles matches against Fairfield in positions 1-3. But the Rams rallied, with the bottom of the lineup coming up big. Fordham got huge victories from Soemarno, Virdee-Oakley and Rakotondrainibe to secure the win against Fairfield.

Although he lost the first set, Soemarno rebounded to defeat Kostas Kollias 2-6, 6-1, 7-6. Virdee Oakley then got the better of Schlesinger in three sets 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. With each team having earned three points and just one singles match remaining, it all came down to a sixth-position showdown between Rakotondrainibe and Stefan Mitrovic of Fairfield. In the winner-take-all contest, Mitrovic took the first set 6-3 before Rakotondrainibe rebounded in the second set, winning 6-1. With everything on the line in the decisive third set, Rakotondrainibe outlasted Mitrovic, winning 7-6 on a tiebreaker. For Rakotondrainibe, a freshman from Madagascar, his first singles win of the year couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment.

By the skin of their teeth, the Rams now have a win on the board in 2023. They’ll be back in action this weekend with two matchups. First, the Rams will take a Friday trip to Newark, N.J. to take on the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). They’ll then return home on Saturday to host Binghamton University at the Life Time Athletic Center in Harrison, N.Y.