MERION STATION, Pa. – Singles play kicked off on Saturday at the ninth annual Saint Joseph's Invitational, with a handful of Hawks reaching the semifinals of the main draw at the SJU Tennis Complex.
In the top flight, junior Tim Stierle rolled to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ruben Morhain of Delaware before dominating Villanova's Dylan Flanagan, 6-0, 6-1, to reach the semifinals.
Elsewhere in the flight, junior Michael Santa Lucia outlasted George Cooper of Lehigh, 6-1, 4-6, 10-6 before falling to Balaji Lakshmanan of Drexel, 6-4, 6-2. Sophomore Beekman Schaeffer and junior Andre Fick also went down in their opening tilts, with Schaeffer falling in a supertiebreaker to La Salle's Francesco Mowrey, 4-6, 6-2, 10-6, while Fick fell to Bernard Tefel of Drexel, 6-4, 6-3. Fick then dropped his consolation match, 6-3, 6-1, to Lehigh's Juan Martin-Dyer.
Senior Peter Dewitt and junior Dan Tan had byes to the quarterfinals of the second flight and made them count, as Dewitt beat Matt Phelps of Villanova, 6-2, 6-0, and Tan held off the Wildcats' Tommy Dodson, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 10-8. Sophomore Luis Janko fell in a supertiebreaker, 6-2, 2-6, 10-7, to Drexel's Hamza Laalej, before suffering a 7-5, 6-1 defeat to Lehigh's Jacob Edelchik in the backdraw.
A pair of freshman nabbed opening round wins in the third flight as Johnnie Massart cruised past Delaware's Asdrubal Marcano, 6-3, 6-0, and Sam Sauter coasted by Patrick Pascual of La Salle, 6-1, 6-3. Massart then won by an identical 6-3, 6-0 score over Villanova's Mike Czlonka to reach the semifinals, but Sauter fell to Chris Auteri of Lehigh, 0-6, 6-4, 10-5 in the quarterfinals.
Sophomore Scott Battaglia dropped his opening match, a 6-3, 6-4 result to Villanova's William Elmore, before receiving a bye to the consolation semifinal.
The opening round of the fourth flight was not kind to the Hawks on Saturday. Senior Nick Ringle fell to Drexel's Xandy Hammitt, 6-1, 6-0, while junior Alexander Schneider went down to Delaware's Nathaniel Gedamu, 7-6 (3), 6-2. Elsewhere, freshmen Nathan Fioravante and Alex MacNeil suffered defeats as well, with Fioravante going down to Joseph DiOrio of La Salle, 6-0, 6-4, and MacNeil succumbing to Villanova's Jimmy Purdy, 6-3, 6-3.
MacNeil went on to a 6-4, 6-2 win over La Salle's Liam Rodriguez to reach the consolation semifinals, while Schneider received a bye. Fioravante fell to Daniel Martinez of Villanova, 6-1, 6-3, in the consolation quarters, while Ringle went down to the wire with La Salle's Andrija Bozovic before falling in a supertiebreaker, 6-2, 1-6, 11-9.
Stierle and Santa Lucia earned a win in the flight one doubles consolation draw, getting past teammates Massart and Schaeffer, 8-4, to reach the final. Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, a pair of Hawk duos fell in the consolation semifinals of the second flight, with Fioravante and Janko falling, 8-1, to Chris Auteri and Dylan Karchere-Sun of Lehigh, while Battaglia and MacNeil lost a heartbreaker to Villanova's Phelps and Alastair Hurry, 9-8 (8).
The event concludes on Sunday. The final day of play commences with semifinals in all four singles flights at 9:00 a.m. on both the Maguire and Finnesey Courts.