Men’s Tennis Looking To Continue Winning Ways After USTA Tournament


After starting the season 3-0, the Fordham men’s tennis team competed in the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Collegiate Invitational Tournament  from September 23-25 at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York to get more practice and national exposure. The Rams played well during the two-day tournament, finding success in both singles and doubles matches.

On day one, the Rams were 3-0 in singles play with first round wins from Kuba Kowlaski, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’14,  Mischa Koran, FCRH ’14, and Srikar Alla, FCRH ’15. All three players would  advance to the quarterfinal round held on day two of the tournament.

However, men’s tennis didn’t fare as well in doubles competition, going 1-4 on day one. The first doubles match saw Alla and Kowlaski pair up to take down the team from St. Francis University by a score of 8-5. They advanced to the quarterfinal round but fell to George Washington  8-5.

The other doubles pairs of Mischa Koran and Peder Gram, FCRH ’15, and Michael Puntillo, FCRH ’15, and J.J Tauli, FCRH ’15, also against Fairfield and Brown respectively.

Day two of the Men’s Open Single “E” draw opened with Alla, the number one seed, and Koran, the number four seed, competing in their quartfinal rounds. Alla lost to Dartmouth’s Sam Todd, but Koran advanced to the semifinal round, upending Marist’s Joe Dube. Unfortunately, Koran’s impressive run would end in the semifinals in a loss to Brown University’s Dan Hirschberg.

Despite the losses at the tournament, Coach Cory Hubbard isn’t concerned. “I think we had a great tournament,” Hubbard said. “We got an opportunity to play on the US Open courts, and show other teams how we’ve improved. Now we’re focused on continuing our success as the season progresses.”

As of October 6, men’s tennis is 4-0 after completing their fourth consecutive 7-0 victory against La Salle for their first conference victory of the season. Fordham swept through all six singles matches with wins by Kowalski, Alla, Koran, and Gram. Fordham also swept all three  of the following doubles matches.

Fordham’s success this season can be attributed to the plethora of young talent they have, which goes hand in hand with recruitment.  This year, Fordham’s recruiting class was ranked 27th in the nation, as they recruited six freshmen and two transfer students.

“We want to show our guys that our program is something special and that we’re on our way to a conference championship,” Hubbard said.

Next on the schedule for men’s tennis is another tournament, the Columbia Invitational. The Columbia Invitational is an individual tournament, much like the USTA Collegiate Invitational, except with more Ivy League Schools. “Tournament play is good for us,” Hubbard said. “It gives us more experience against great teams. We’ll just go out there, play with a lot of energy and learn how to win.”

Following the Columbia Invitational, the Rams will put their undefeated record, as well as their shutout streak on the line, on Oct. 11 when they play matches against NYIT, Wagner and Alelphi. “It is wonderful to be 4-0 to start the season but there is always room for improvement,” Hubbard said. “Once we improve we could be potentially dangerous when we face other teams. It really looks to be a great season so far.”