April 22, 2012
After a lengthy rain delay, the University of Louisville men's tennis team defended their BIG EAST Tournament crown despite dropping the doubles point, gritting out a 4-2 win over host South Florida Sunday afternoon in Tampa.
The win marks the third straight and fourth overall BIG EAST title for Coach Rex Ecarma's Cardinals and the championship earns U of L the automatic NCAA berth. It will be their ninth NCAA appearance and fourth straight. U of L freshman Sebastian Stiefelmeyer earned Most Outstanding Player honors en route to the Cards victory.
The Cards had a chance to win doubles with the No. 2 pair of Sebastian Stiefelmeyer and Robert Hall winning 9-7 and the No. 1 and No. 3 Cardinal pairs both up mid-set break but USF hung on to win the doubles point.
Down 1-0 going into singles, Albert Wagner put the Cards on the board with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Federico Sabogal at No. 3. Sebastian Stiefelmeyer rolled 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2. Michael Lippens put U of L within one point at 3-1, winning 6-4, 6-3 over Juan Carlos Acuna. But USF was not done, as Bulls' Oliver Pramming scrambled to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Luis Elizondo to put the score at 3-2. Meanwhile, over at No. 1 singles, Andrew Carter had battled his way into a third set. But before they could finish at the first court, Robert Hall clinched the match and the championship with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Ravi Patel.
"We were within one point and that was the perfect set-up for "Mister Clincher" Robert Hall
," said U of L head coach Rex Ecarma
. "Playing an exciting match and with both legs cramping, he brought the Cardinals their third BIG EAST championship in dramatic fashion. This was his second BIG EAST Tournament clinching moment. A special shoutout to Sebastian for being the tournament's Most Outstanding Player."
LOU 4, USF 2
1. Andrew Carter (UL) vs. Wael Kilani (USF) 2-6, 6-4, 2-1 DNF
2. Sebastian Steifelmeyer def. Yannick Yoshizawa (USF) 6-2, 6-1
3. Albert Wagner (UL) def. Federico Sabogal (USF) 6-2, 6-1
4. Michael Lippens (UL) def. Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard (USF) 6-4, 6-3
5. Robert Hall (UL) def. Ravi Patel (USF) 6-3, 6-4
6. Oliver Pramming (USF) def. Luis Elizondo (UL) 6-1, 6-3
1. Y. Yoshizawa/O. Pramming (USF) def. A. Carter/A. Wagner 9-8 (3)
2. S. Stiefelmeyer/R. Hall def. W.Kilani/F. Sabogal (USF) 9-7
3. L. Marin-Salcedo/G. de Vilchez (USF) def. A. Donaldson/Michael Lippens 8-6