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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Perrone makes mark in first career tournament win

Perrone was named to the 2019 Atlantic 10 All-Conference first team in the spring. PHOTO: Luke Malanga ’20

Men’s tennis player junior Nathan Perrone won the 11th annual SJU Invitational tournament on Sept. 22 and as a result was named the St. Joe’s Athlete of the Week. He picked up right where he left off last spring, when he was an all-conference performer at the end of the season.

Perrone won the top flight with a victory over junior teammate Nickolas Frisk.

“It was going to be tough playing a teammate,” Perrone said. “No matter what you have to forget about who you are playing. At the end of the day I want to win.” 

Before coming to play at St. Joe’s, Perrone had only played independently on the international level. The SJU Invitational was actually Perrone’s first college tournament in his career. 

He transferred to St. Joe’s in January 2019 from Rowan College at Burlington County. According to Perrone, it was the first time that he had to win multiple matches to win the whole tournament. He only played single or dual matches last spring. 

Though Perrone said it was tough to play against a teammate, he was comfortable playing solo.  

“I had never played for a team before,” Perrone said. “I actually like it a lot. It made me drive more to play better. Now it feels like I have been here for years.”

Perrone was ranked as high as 120th in the world in the International Tennis Federation junior circuit and reached third in the national rankings for boys 18s singles.

Senior teammate Scott Battagalia grew up near Perrone. The two played a lot of tournaments against one another from the age of eight onward. To see Perrone win was nothing new to Battagalia. 

“He has always been this hungry guy that wants to be the best,” Battagalia said. “From last year, he came in and he pretty much took over the team as a leader.”

Battagalia said that Perrone’s determination has been the same since they were younger. 

“He was a number one player and he just continued it,” Battaglia said. “His success was just a combination of everything he has done so far. He puts in the hard work every single day at practice and it is such a great example for everyone else on the team to see.”  

Senior teammate Luis Janko agreed that Perrone’s energy is always positive during practice. 

“He is a very good teammate and friend,” Janko said. “He always asks others if they need help with something, or tips for improvement. He is always there to help us on and off the court.” 

Next up for Perrone is the ITA Regional Championships on Oct. 17. He hopes to secure his individual goal of an NCAA Championship berth. 

“This summer I played against top spots from Notre Dame and others from South Carolina,” Perrone said. “I played some of the best schools and won a few of those matches. Going to ITAs you can secure a spot in the NCAA Championships in single bracket. That is my goal: to do the best possible that I can.”

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