NCCU Men’s Tennis Flies by Coppin State in MEAC Opener

By Jailen B. Leach


CARY, N.C. – The North Carolina Central University men’s tennis team defeated Coppin State 6-1 to open conference play on Thursday morning on day one of the 2023 MEAC Round-Up at Cary Tennis Park.

The action began with NCCU securing its first doubles point of the season. Graduate student Sebastian Pino teamed up with sophomore Oliver Saarinen to beat Luka Markovic and Vansh Kapoor 7-5.

Freshmen Naresh Bharathy and Kareem Abdul Hakim defeated Isaac Sanders and Ulugbe Abdurakhmonov 6-1, while junior Shaka Cristellotti and Liam Murtaugh’s bout with Anas Haddou and Rishi Jalota went unfinished.

In singles action, Pino earned his fourth victory of the season, defeating Markovic 6-3, 6-4. Cristellotti beat Jalota 6-1, 7-6.

Abdul Hakim clipped Sanders 6-1, 7-5 to earn the third singles victory of his career. Freshman Facundo Olmedo picked up his second singles victory of the season with a 6-1, 6-4 over Abdurakhmonov.

Bharathy battled and outlasted Haddou after dropping the first set (4-6, 6-4, 6-4). Saarinen fell to Kapoor 6-1, 6-4 to claim the lone Coppin State point.

Up next NCCU (3-11, 1-0 MEAC) will continue action in the 2023 MEAC Round-Up when they face Morgan State tomorrow at 3 p.m.

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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.