For the second consecutive season, the Steels of the Culinary Institute of America are champions of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, defeating the Knights of Berkeley College by a score of 5-4 in a match played at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY. The Steels finalized their championship campaign with a 6-1 record, while Berkeley dipped to 5-3 on the year.
Berkeley College took an early lead in this contest, as the No. 1 doubles team of Johnathan Wilson and Victor Marotta dominated Culinary Institute of America's Daniel Juarez and Andy Park by a score of 8-0. The Steels would tie the match a short time later when Nathaniel Putnam and Gabriela Berrios turned back Rajah Ulrich Mopoundza and Nico Echavarria, 8-5. The Knights then finished off doubles play with a victory at the No. 3 flight, with Sebastien Rousseau and Alexander Maurmann defeating Cassidy Seo and Ola Boulos in a very competitive contest, 9-7.
The Knights appeared to be in good shape after capturing the No. 1 and No. 2 singles flights, as Wilson silenced Juarez, 10-4 at No. 1 and Marotta shut down Park, 10-1 at No. 2. At that juncture of the match, Berkeley College was ahead by a score of 4-1. The Steels – however –would come all the way back.
Culinary Institute of America's comeback began with a win at No. 3 singles, as Putnam defeated Mopoundza, 10-1. Seo would then down Rousseau, 10-3 at No. 4 singles. The match would then become knotted at four apiece when James Buquet IV would finish off Echavarria, 10-4 at No. 6 singles. The match would come down to the No. 5 singles flight – and in a very competitive confrontation – Berrios would defeat Maurmann, 10-6.
For the Knights – despite falling short in the championship match – the team still was able to clinch its first winning season in its three-year tenure. Berkeley College will look to build on that positive as the team will once again shoot for that second regional championship when the calendar flips to 2018.