Sophomore Rushi Amin and freshman Varun Desai were the talk of the 2012-2013 PSAC Tennis Championships, winning the doubles as a team and squaring off in a barnburner for the singles competition finals. Simply put, KU ran the tables on any and all willing to step on the court at Bloomsburg University.
Amin and Desai, despite being the best on the team, are just a portion of the talent KU has to offer on the clay courts. For instance, though he did not compete, sophomore Bilwali Suri was awarded the honor of Academic All-District . Still, the focus of the weekend was on Amin and Desai and their relentless performance.
Seeded first, the KU team of Amin and Desai was on fire. In their first match, to eight set wins, took the game 8-2, knocking off the hometown group of Disanto and Carney from Bloomsburg. Things just kept rolling as the KU dream team beat the next competitors from Edinboro by the same score, 8-2. After the second win, Amin and Desai were in the finals for the Sunday championship round.
While Amin and Desai were turning heads, the young group of freshman Ben Nance and Rich Lichtenwalner hit the courts to lose in their first match in a tough 8-6 loss to the West Chester group. Nance wouldn’t be done for the competition. He too would join Amin and Desai in the singles tournament. Unfortunately, he would suffer a respectable loss to the fourth seeded Jody Sambrick from Millersvillle.
Desai and Amin, on the other hand, had excellent performances in the singles bracket. Seeded first was Amin and seeded second was Desai, respectively. Impressively, Amin did not lose a single set the entire match. In the first set Amin gave up three points out of 15 possible points. The second win Amin allowed just five points of 17 possible, providing a dominant performance all the way to the finals.
Desai, on the opposite side of the bracket, had a shaky start to the tournament. His first match against Edinboro’s Amir Talab started fine with a 6-4 first set win; however, he dropped the second losing 4-6. The third set was the toughest pushing, both competitors to compete in extra sets. He pulled out the win by sheer endurance, winning 10-8. Desai would be Edinboro’s worst nightmare, beating two more Edinboro opponents on his way to face his partner in the finals. Desai would only allow four more points until the finals.
As Sunday rolled around, so did the finals. Luckily, before going toe-to-toe in the Men’s Singles Final, the two were able to knockout the Men’s Doubles Final. Amin and Desai took on their toughest opponent yet in Mercyhurst’s team of Travis Beck and Robert Rizea. Earlier in the singles round, Amin defeated Beck in two straight set 6-3 and 6-4. This time it was a bit closer, with the same results. Amin and Desai won the Men’s Doubles Final 8-5.
Last, but certainly not least in a long day of competition, the two KU elites were scheduled to face each other head-to-head. Although Desai had himself an excellent tournament as rookie freshman, he was simply no match for veteran Amin. Amin was on fire during the finals and last competition of the day. Amin did not let his younger partner win a single set nor a single point. Amin would go on to defeat his opponent in two sets 6-0 and 6-0.
KU provided a good idea of how their upcoming season is going to look. Quite simply, Amin and Desai are going to be tough for other competition in the PSACs. The Golden Bears will be back in action Friday, Sept. 28 at home against Fairmont State University at 3 p.m.
By: Frank Genther