By Cameron Niemi
The Youngstown State University men’s tennis team opened its fall season at Western Michigan University’s Vredevelt Invitational on Sept. 22 and 23.
The team played both singles and doubles matches against three different teams, including WMU, DePaul University and Butler University.
Youngstown State has several returning players and three new players. The team is hoping to make it back for another chance at the Horizon League title.
At the invitational, the Penguins had an overall doubles record of 6-2. As for singles, the overall record was 9-12 over the two days.
Junior Nathan Favier and sophomore Nishant Dabas led the Penguins as they went a perfect 3-0, and this was the duo’s first time playing together. Dabas is a transfer from St. John’s University and was the number No. 1 ranked player in Indiana in 2021.
Favier spoke about the performance of the team at its first invitational of the fall season.
“It was tough physically because we played six matches in two days,” Favier said. “The team did solid, [and] everybody got their first win. We are ready to keep going for the fall and getting ready for the spring as well.”
Returning seniors David Alvarez Moreno and Asier Pena Ibanez went 2-0 in their doubles matches.
Junior transfer from Ashland University, William Rassat and freshman Onder Balci both went 2-1 in their singles matches, along with junior Harry Fouzas. Rassat was a First-Team Great Midwest Athletic Conference selection last season.
This past April, the team fell short in the Horizon League Championship, losing to Belmont University in the semifinals. Belmont went on to win the Championship.
The fall invitationals will help improve the team’s chemistry for both doubles and singles matches, as it prepares for conference play, which starts in spring.
The Penguins return home to the YSU Indoor Tennis Center for the YSU Invitational on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. Matches will start at 9 a.m.
Favier spoke on returning home for the YSU Invitational.
“Playing home is always special. We love our court” Favier said. “Having this one home invitational is a good chance for us to have our friends come in. Our teammates having a chance to play here in front of our people is really nice.”
The men’s team will go on and compete in the ITA Midwest Regionals in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Oct. 19 through 21. Then it will wrap up its fall season at the Cleveland State Invitational on Oct. 27 through 29. Fans can watch the matches or view the results on ysusports.com.