By Cameron Niemi
The Youngstown State University men’s tennis team hit the road for the first time this season and traveled to Nebraska for matches against Creighton University and the University of Omaha Nebraska.
The Penguins started their 2024 season off by winning three straight games inside the YSU Indoor Tennis Center.
The Penguins faced off against Creighton and saw their first loss of the season, Feb. 2. The Blue Jays secured a 5-2 win in their matches.
Juniors Nathan Favier and William Rassat captured victories in their singles matches. In the No. 1 singles match, Favier won in two sets, and Rassat won in three sets.
The Penguins were swept, 6-0 and 6-4, in doubles matches No. 1 and No. 2. The third doubles match was unfinished as the Blue Jays won the doubles point with a sweep.
Youngstown State looked to bounce back Feb. 3 as they took on Omaha. The Penguins lost their second straight match of the year to the Mavericks, 4-2.
YSU won two of its three doubles matches, which gave the team the doubles point and an early lead. The duo of Favier and Rassat won their match, 6-1. Senior David Alvarez Moreno and junior Harry Fouzas secured a 6-4 win.
Favier won, 6-3, 6-0, in his singles match, which gave the Penguins a 2-0 match lead. Despite the lead, Omaha won four singles matchups, giving the Mavericks a point advantage over the Penguins.
Fouzas spoke about the road loss and what the team learned from it, as some players battled injuries.
“Great matches and great opportunity for us, especially the guys that play lower in the lineup, to play against some really tough opponents,” Fouzas said. “It was really unfortunate that we couldn’t have our best players … in those two matches, but the other guys, we did our best.”
Youngstown State moves to 3-2 overall on the season, with eight non-conference games remaining — five of which will be on the road. The team will start Horizon League play in late March.
The men’s tennis team will wrap up its road trip with two more matches as the Penguins travel to Virginia and Maryland before returning to the YSU Indoor Tennis Center.
Fouzas spoke about tough opponents coming up on the road and his confidence in the team.
“Two really good teams,” Fouzas said. “We are a really good team this year, we improved from last year. We got a new coach that really cares, and he’s really good. Everyone’s going to give 100% and we’ll have a big shot of winning both.”
The team will face off against the College of William & Mary at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9. Then, the ‘Guins will head north to take on the Naval Academy at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 10. To watch the matches against the Griffins, visit web.playsight.com.