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Men’s tennis defeats ODU and MTSU, climbs ITA rankings

mtennis barki.jpg
Sophomore Justin Barki, pictured, won his singles match at #3 against ODU last weekend with 6-0 and 6-4 games. He also won his doubles match with junior Damian Rodriguez. Photo courtesy of Princeton Athletics

Men’s tennis spent this past weekend playing two matches at Jadwin Gymnasium’s tennis courts, defeating Old Dominion University and No. 31 Middle Tennessee State University. 

The Tigers kicked off their weekend with a match against ODU on Saturday. They finished the match on top, beating ODU 4–3. One point was acquired through two victories in the doubles matches: sophomore Justin Barki and junior Damian Rodriguez won their No. 2 doubles match 6–2, and sophomores Bill Duo and Karl Poling clinched the win in their No. 3 doubles match 7–6. The remaining three points were claimed through the singles matches; Barki won his No. 3 singles match, senior Davey Roberts won his match at No. 5, and sophomore Will Peters also won a close match 7–5, 6–3 against ODU’s Vidal at No.6. 


The Tigers continued their momentum into Sunday, where they decisively beat nationally ranked Middle Tennessee State University 4–1. In the doubles matches, Barki and Rodriguez once again won their doubles match at No.2 6–3. Meanwhile, Duo and Poling at No. 3 won all six of their games against MTSU’s Max Rauch and Francisco Rocha. In singles, Barki had another strong match, beating his opponent 6–3, 6–0. Then, Peters won his match 6–2, 6–2 at No.4, and Duo finished his match with a 6–1, 7–5 victory.

After the successful weekend, Princeton men’s tennis now has a record of 11–4. 

“Both Old Dominion and Middle Tennessee are tough teams, and getting through the weekend with two solid wins was a real positive,” said junior Ryan Seggerman, who played No. 1 doubles and No.2 singles in both matches over the weekend. “Guys like Justin and Davey were undefeated over the weekend and getting wins quickly, so when they’re playing well, it gives the rest of us a lot of confidence as a group.” 

After the wins over the weekend, the Tigers also climbed six spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s NCAA Division I rankings from No. 24 to No. 18. This ranking, announced on Wednesday, is the highest Princeton men’s tennis has ever ranked under its current head coach, Billy Pate. 

“I know myself and the guys are really fired up about that,” said Seggerman concerning the team’s updated ranking. 

Both Poling and Seggerman also jumped onto the singles rankings after previously being unranked. Poling is now ranked No. 113, and Seggerman is not far behind at No. 124. In the doubles rankings, Seggerrman and senior Payton Holden are ranked No. 16, and Barki and first-year Thomas Bosancic are also ranked at No. 66. 


Princeton men’s tennis will continue to play matches over the next two months, with its Ivy League Championships in mid-April and the NCAA qualifying and national championships in May. 

“Going forward, we just want to keep playing well and give ourselves a good chance to win Ivies and make the NCAA tournament. I think we have put ourselves in a good position to accomplish both of those goals, so it’ll be really fun to see how it plays out,” Seggerman said.

The Tigers’ next match will be this weekend, when they head to State College to face Penn State on Friday before returning to Jadwin Gymnasium to play William and Mary and NJIT on Sunday. 

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