BALTIMORE - The Loyola University Maryland team of Alex Castro and Connor Pietrak advanced to the quarterfinals of the Loyola Men's Tennis Invitational during the tournament's first day of competition Friday.
Castro and Pietrak rallied after falling in doubles, 8-3, to Mount St. Mary's University's Austin Blake and Peter Salomon. They each won their singles matches in tight fashion to pull through to the second round.
Pietrak dropped Blake, 6-3, in the first set of singles and then won the second via a tiebreaker, 7-6 (6). Castro took a pair of 7-5 sets from Salomon to clinch the win for the Loyola pair.
Each pair entered in the tournament competes as a team. An eight-game pro-set is played in doubles followed by singles in a best two-of-three fashion with the third set played as a super-tiebreaker. The team that wins two of the three points moves on in the competition while the losing pair moves to the consolation bracket.
Another Loyola duo, Greg Olesnycky and Tyler Blessing, won its doubles match, 8-4, ver Morgan State University's Evan Ward and Treajh Ferguson, but the Bears' players won both of the singles contests.
Jordan Kuchta was a singles winner for the Greyhounds, 7-5, 6-4, over Mount St. Mary's Darren Mast.
Play continued during the evening hours as teams conducted the doubles matches in the quarterfinals and consolation quarterfinals.
Pietrak and Castro won an 8-6 decision over Johns Hopkins University's Nicholas Garcia and Nakul Narendran in the championship bracket, and three other Loyola teams (Olesnycky/Blessing, Blest Jones/Brett Shriver and Kuchta/C.J. Cash) won their doubles action in the consolation quarterfinals.
Second day action gets underway at 9 a.m. at the McClure Tennis Center at Ridley Athletic Complex.