Boston College men’s tennis came into the weekend in desperate need of a victory. After starting the year, 4-2, the Eagles proceeded to lose six straight contests—to both conference and non-conference foes. With three teams visiting the Flynn Recreation Complex this weekend, BC faced opponents all over the spectrum, taking on the likes of No. 30 North Carolina State, a four-win Sacred Heart team, and No. 2 Wake Forest. To start the three-game homestand, BC dropped a 4-0 decision to the Wolfpack, rebounded with a 7-0 victory over the Pioneers, and finally fell to the Demon Deacons, 6-1.
Against Wake Forest, the Eagles didn’t really stand much of a chance, considering that the Demon Deacons are a perennial tennis powerhouse. As expected, BC could not keep up, and the lopsided affair started in doubles. The Eagles’ No. 3 doubles team—Max Palmer and Sean Mullins—first fell to Melios Efstathiou and Alan Gadjiev, 6-2. Then, Petros Chrysochos and Bart Botzer handed Derek Austin and Conor Mullins—BC’s No. 1 tandem—a 6-4 defeat to secure the doubles point for the Demon Deacons.
In singles, it was much of the same story. On the first court, Chrysochos withstood a tough challenge from Austin in the first set and went on to win in straight sets, 7-6, 6-2. Conor Mullins battled Efstathiou in the first frame, but lost, 7-5. From there, Mullins ran out of gas, as he dropped the following set, 6-0. Sean Mullins, Max Mendelsohn, and Santiago Montufar were all outclassed by the Demon Deacons, as they dropped their matches in straight sets. The lone Eagle to notch a point was Markus Nordby on the second court. Facing Botzer, Nordby won the first set, 7-5, lost the second frame by the same score, and then prevailed in a tiebreaker to decide the match.
A day earlier, BC was able to snap its losing streak against a clearly overmatched Sacred Heart side. In doubles, the Eagles were dominant, as they only dropped a combined three games across three sets. The duos of Austin and Conor Mullins, Nordby and Chris Grasel, and Palmer and Sean Mullins won their matches, 6-0, 6-2, and 6-1, respectively.
BC also flashed its dominance in singles from the top of the lineup to the bottom. Operating at first singles, Mendelsohn defeated Seiji Hosokowa, 6-2, 6-3. Wills Tutecky faced a stronger challenge from William Wibmer, but he still prevailed, 7-5, 6-2. Palmer beat Luca Casalduc Pla, 6-3, 6-4. In his first set against Chris Sause, Peter Campana won in a tiebreaker and then earned a victory in the second set, 6-4. Montufar won against Bryan Einstoss, 6-3, 6-1. The only Eagle who didn’t win in straight sets was Alexander Chieffalo, but he still edged Kevin Chao in a third-set tiebreaker.
On Friday, the Eagles were dispatched by the Wolfpack, failing to win a single set. The BC doubles teams played fairly close matches, but they were beat out by the N.C. State duos. Tadas Babelis and Georgiy Malyshev downed Grasel and Nordby, 6-4. Then, in third doubles slot, brothers Igor Saveljic and Ivan Savelijc won against Palmer and Sean Mullins, 6-3, to earn the doubles point for the Wolfpack.
While none of BC’s singles players were fully blown out of the water, they all still lost in straight sets. Alexis Galarneau, the No. 18 singles player in the nation, beat Austin, 6-4, 6-2. Grasel fell to Igor Saveljic, 7-6, 6-0. And finally, Yannai Barkai handled Mendelsohn, 6-3, 7-6.
The win over the Pioneers was certainly a positive from this weekend, but the Eagles’ struggles in the ACC were once again put on full display. With these past two conference losses, BC is now 0-6 in ACC play in 2019. Many of these games were not particularly close either, as four of them ended in a decisive shutout for its opponent. In fact, the Eagles have only picked up a grand total of three points in their six ACC contests. BC can pad the win column with victories over weaker non-conference foes, but it is abundantly clear how far the team is from achieving relevance in the conference.
Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / For The Heights