MERION STATION, Pa. – Senior Andre Fick lived out SJU's “The Hawk Will Never Die” motto on the court on Tuesday afternoon, battling back from a set down and fighting off match point before earning the clinching victory as the Saint Joseph's men's tennis team knocked off Delaware, 4-3, at the SJU Tennis Complex.
Fick dropped the first set in his second-flight singles match, 7-6 (0), and trailed 5-2 in the second set against Luis Molina. Fick staved off match point and then won five consecutive games to push the match to a third set.
Once there, Fick fell behind 5-3 before reeling off four consecutive games to clinch the final point and set off a celebration among his teammates.
“What a good win for us,” assistant coach Marc Pibernat said after the match. “We really came together on this one.”
Eshan Kanetkar and Nathan Perrone came away with a 6-1 win in the second doubles flight, but Delaware notched wins in both the first and third flights to score the first point of the day.
Perrone then gave the Hawks a foothold in the match with a 6-3, 6-2 win in the top singles flight. After the Blue Hens took the fourth-flight match to regain the lead, Beekman Schaeffer closed out a three-setter, 0-6, 6-0, 6-1, to get the Hawks back on level pegging.
The visitors claimed a fifth-flight win to get within a point of the overall victory, but Johnnie Massart came from a set down in the third flight to secure a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph and tie the match.
With just the second-flight match remaining on the court, all eyes were on Fick, and the senior delivered to carry the Hawks to the come-from-behind victory.
“It was an absolutely great performance from everyone on the team,” Pibernat said. “A special mention for Andre after coming back from match point to win the second set, and coming back from being down 5-3 in the third to win the set and the match. This is the kind of performance and player that everyone on the team needs to be looking up to.
“There's not too much time to enjoy this victory, though, as our minds are already focused on tomorrow's match against Villanova.”
The Hawks will visit the Wildcats on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
Saint Joseph's 4, Delaware 3
1. Justice Jones / James Wilkinson (UD) def. Beekman Schaeffer / Dan Tan (SJU), 6-3
2. Eshan Kanetkar / Nathan Perrone (SJU) def. Nathan Benyowitz / Blaise Casselbury (UD), 6-1
3. Laurenz Lankes / Luis Molina (UD) def. Andre Fick / Johnnie Massart (SJU), 6-1
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Perrone (SJU) def. Wilkinson (UD), 6-3, 6-2
2. Fick (SJU) def. Molina (UD), 6-7 (0), 7-5, 7-5
3. Massart (SJU) def. Lankes (UD), 3-6, 6-2, 6-1
4. Casselbury (UD) def. Tan (SJU), 6-3, 6-1
5. Jones (UD) def. Kanetkar (SJU), 6-4, 6-4
6. Schaeffer (SJU) def. Benyowitz (UD), 0-6, 6-0, 6-1
Order of Finish: 1, 4, 6, 5, 3, 2
Singles: Saint Joseph's 71, Delaware 62
Doubles: Delaware 13, Saint Joseph's 10
Total: Saint Joseph's 81, Delaware 75