Jan. 25, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The University of Louisville men's tennis team edged Middle Tennessee 4-3 in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Cardinals (3-0) will face fifth-ranked host Ohio State in the finals of the regional Sunday at 2 p.m. The winner will advance to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship which will be held Feb. 14-17 at Texas A&M.
"I am really pleased that this team calmed down and finished strong," said UofL head coach Rex Ecarma. "Middle Tennessee is a very talented team. They did not have a weak spot in their lineup. To advance in this tournament is very difficult since it is national and completely at-large and is made up of the best teams in our sport."
Middle Tennessee took the first point of the match with doubles wins at Nos. 1 and 2. Yannick Born and Aaron Jumonville defeated junior Albert Wagner and sophomore Jeffrey Brown 6-1. Sophomore Alex Gornet and junior Luis Elizondo evened score with a 6-3 decision over Victor Hoang and Sam Matheson at the three-spot. The point came down to court No. 1 where 22nd ranked David Fox and Victor Cornea defeated juniors Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and Van Damrongsri 6-4 to give the Blue Raiders a 1-0 advantage heading into singles.
In singles action, junior Michael Lippens tied the match at 1-1 with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jumonville at the No. 2 seed. Stiefelmeyer's 6-2, 6-2 victory over 98th ranked David Fox pulled the Cards ahead 2-1. Middle Tennessee answered on court No. 3 where Cornea outlasted Damrongsri 6-5 (7-5), 6-5 (11-9) to even the score. Louisville regained the lead when Gornet beat Matheson 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 at the four-spot. The Blue Raiders responded when Ettore Zito defeated Wagner 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 to knot the score at 3-3. The match came down to court five where current American Athletic Conference Player of the Week Chris Simich suffered a 6-3 first set loss, but battled back to defeat Hoang 6-5 (7-4), 6-4 to seal the win.
"The reigning American Player of the Week, Chris Simich won an amazing match," said Ecarma. "He dug down so deep for his 15th straight win in both doubles and singles. He deserves this moment - but he would not have that moment if it were not for Sebastian, Alex and Michael who won as well. Now we play Ohio State, one of the giants in our sport with the nation's longest winning streak at 175 wins at home. We have a game plan for them and hope we can do a great job in execution and hope some more heroes emerge."
Louisville 4 - Middle Tennessee 3
Jan 25, 2014 at Varsity Tennis Center
#47 Louisville 4, #52 Middle Tennessee 3
1. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer (LOU) def. #98 David Fox (MT) 6-2, 6-2
2. Ettore Zito (MT) def. Albert Wagner (LOU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1
3. Victor Cornea (MT) def. Van Damrongsri (LOU) 6-5 (7-5), 6-5 (11-9)
4. Alex Gornet (LOU) def. Sam Matheson (MT) 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
5. Chris Simich (LOU) def. Victor Hoang (MT) 3-6, 6-5 (7-4), 6-4
6. Michael Lippens (LOU) def. Aaron Jumonville (MT) 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: Singles (6,1,3,4,2,5)
1. #22 David Fox/Victor Cornea (MT) def. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer/Van Damrongsri (LOU) 6-4
2. Yannick Born/Aaron Jumonville (MT) def. Albert Wagner/Jeffrey Brown (LOU) 6-1
3. Alex Gornet/Luis Elizondo (LOU) def. Victor Hoang/Sam Matheson (MT) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1)
Middle Tennessee 1-1; National ranking #52
Louisville 3-0; National ranking #47
Official: Vince Solomon T-2:40 A-123