FLUSHING, NY – Senior Ed Han (McLean, VA/W.T. Woodson) and sophomore Muhammad Ali Bhatti (Brooklyn, NY/James Madison) both earned runner-up finishes in both their respective singles tournaments and paired together in doubles, leading the St. Joseph's College men's tennis team to a third place finish at the Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference (HVMAC) Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the USTA National Tennis Center.
Competing at 1st singles, Han advanced to the finals defeating Akshay Anantapadmanabham of Cooper Union, 8-4, in the quarterfinals and avenging a loss in the regular season to Michael Cheng of Webb in the semifinals, 8-5. In the finals, Han was unable to upset the favorite Rafael Roldan of Pratt who captured the title dropping only two games all tournament. Han was named to the All-Conference team in award ceremonies after the tournament and finishes the season setting a school-record eight singles wins.
Bhatti's path to the finals of the 2nd singles tournament went through Abraham Dreazen of Pratt in the quarterfinals, 8-2, and sliding past Michael Cappelino of Culinary, 8-6. Bhatti held a 5-2 lead in the finals over Cooper Union's Eduard Levyshteyn, could not hold off the #1 seed falling 8-6. Bhatti finishes his sophomore campaign with seven singles victories.
Han and Bhatti continued their strong play in the doubles tournament pairing together to earn 8-4 victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals over Sarah Lawrence and Culinary but ultimately falling in the finals to a Pratt team led by Roldan.
Derrick Akwei (Bronx, NY/Port Angeles HS) earned his second career singles win in the quarterfinals of the 4th singles tournament, the only other win for the Bears in the singles tournament. Akwei later teamed up with Mahmoud Elsayed (Egypt/Assediq International) to capture an 8-3 victory in the quarterfinals of the 2nd doubles tournament.
Cooper Union, the regular season champions, also captured the tournament championship winning seven of the nine flight championships.
St. Joseph's concludes their 2010 season with a 2-9 record.