Men’s doubles team takes PSAC title

Contributed Photo: Sports Information
Bruno Borja (above right) and Brandon Romain (above center) won the 2014 PSAC Men’s Tennis doubles championship this past weekend at West Chester University.

By Tyler Trumbauer
Sports/Spectator

Head men’s and women’s tennis coach Lee Underwood did not cheer nor coach in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference men’s doubles championship this past Sunday.

That’s because Underwood couldn’t choose who to root for.

The third-year coach was in a unique situation during the men’s doubles title match as Edinboro was guaranteed the championship as Bruno Borja and Brandon Romain faced off against teammates Matias Aignasse and Juan Estepa.

“I didn’t coach either team,” Underwood admitted in a phone interview Monday morning. “It was actually relaxing. It was nice knowing that a win was coming regardless.”

The victory was earned by the duo of Borja and Romain, 6-3. All matches during the entire championship were only one, six-game set as weather canceled all of Saturday’s action, which forced the compressed schedule on Sunday.

The title match was back and forth early on, according to Underwood. Borja and Romain then captured a 4-3 lead in the set and never looked back taking the victory and upsetting the team of Aignasse and Estepa, who were the top-seeded men’s doubles team in the tournament.

For the male singles’ tournament, Borja was the only Scot to notch a win as he defeated West Chester’s Lucas Von der Heyde, 8-4, in the first round. He then lost to Matt Maguire of Kutztown, 6-4. Maguire defeated Aignasse in the first round by a score of 8-6. Amir Talab also lost in the first round as the senior lost to Jody Sambrick of Millersville, 8-6.

Underwood noted that everyone had to play just one set matches, but he would have preferred not to.

“It didn’t give an opportunity for things to happen,” he said. “I know that everyone was under the same circumstances, but it would have been better to see full matches.”

The only Fighting Scot to actually play on Saturday, the first day of the two-day championship held at West Chester University, was senior Oranza Carillo. 

Carillo, who owned the fourth seed in the women’s singles bracket, defeated Nicole Fahringer of  West Chester, 8-1, Tori Davis of Millersville, 6-2, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Luise Von Agris, 7-6 (7-5), on her way to qualifying for the semi-finals.

She faced off against Claire Uhle of West Chester, but ended up on the losing end of a 6-3 score.

“Oranza did really well,” Underwood said.

“That semi-final match could have gone either way. That was definitely one of the matches that I wish could have gone the full match length as it would have made it interesting.”

Sophomore Julia Hellstern, from Stuttgart, Germany, fell in her opening match to Nina Barbano of Slippery Rock, 8-5. 

Carillo and Hellstern combined for a doubles team in the women’s doubles bracket, but didn’t have the same luck as a team. The ladies fell to the team of Tanya Timko and Luis Von Agris, of IUP, 7-5.

Due to the weather, not as much tennis was played, but Underwood believes his players still learned from the tournament.

“Teams are comprised of a lot of people,” he said.

“They learned that anyone can beat anyone. The first round is not just for getting their feet wet. It is just as important as any round. They can’t just show up and expect to win.”

The women’s team is participating in the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional Championships on Sept. 20-22 at Pennbriar Racquet Club in Erie. The men’s team is in action next on Sept. 23 as the Scots visit Walsh University (OH) at noon.

Tyler Trumbauer is the sports editor for The Spectator. He can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com