By Adam Zaki
Published: March 23rd, 2016
The Brooklyn College Men’s tennis team tasted victory in its first match of the season, as the Bulldogs defeated the York College Cardinals 9-0 in head coach Michael Phillips inaugural game. The original home opener against the City College Beavers was postponed back on March 19th. With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 0-2, getting shutout in both their opening contests.
Opening the match with three quick wins in doubles, the Bulldogs quickly consumed all the match’s momentum. Domination in doubles by teams of Jonathan Chevinsky and Ashley Matthieu in the #2 spot, along with Gabriel Pariente and Adam Zaurderer in the #3 spot, resulted in both groups shutting out their competitors, 8-0.
After the Bulldogs’ domination in doubles, the team continued to individually dominate the Cardinals in the singles matches. Shutouts in the first three rounds of singles by Elliot Haddad, Murray Mizrachi, and Jonathan Chevinsky helped contribute to the group’s landslide victory. The shutouts were followed by wins by Albert Benjamin (6-0,6-1), Eved Modek (6-1,6-1), and Kevin Gryka (6-2, 6-0) for the Bulldogs.
Without a single senior on the roster, the Bulldogs look to take the courts with a young team in their 2016 campaign. Alongside this young roster is a rookie head coach with a ton of experience.
Brought in by Brooklyn College’s Director of Athletics Bruce Filosa alongside the the Brooklyn College Office of Recreation Intramurals and Intercollegiate Athletics, Head Coach Michael Phillips brings a plethora of involvement in tennis at all different levels of the sport.
Before beginning his campaign as the coach of the Women’s Bulldogs Tennis team in the fall, Phillips served as the Head Director of Tennis at TSI-NYSC in Cobble Hill for ten years. A City College graduate, Phillips is no stranger to the CUNY system. After his completion at CCNY, he served on the United States Professional Tennis Association’s (USPTA) Eastern Division, holding both roles as Chief Executive Administrator and Vice President. Phillips has also been working in player development for over 20 years.
Before the start of the Women’s season, Phillips spoke on his plans to improve the tennis program here at Brooklyn College for both squads. “I plan on including tennis specific conditioning to our tennis practices,” said Phillips. “So we are physically and mentally strong throughout the seasons and ready for the CUNYAC Championships.”
Phillips looks to prepare a team that collapsed at the conclusion of the 2015 season, losing six of their last eight matches. Taking over a program that hasn’t seen a winning season since 2008, Phillips has a lot of work to be done in order to create a new identity for a team that lost an astonishing 40 matches from 2009 to 2012.
The Bulldogs will travel to Purchase College today for a 4 p.m. match, followed by a trip to Rutgers-Newark on Thursday, March 24. The Bulldogs will be back on the Roosevelt tennis courts on Tuesday, March 29 when they will host the Baruch College Bearcats for their second CUNYAC game of the season. The first sets will begin at 4 p.m.