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Men’s Tennis: Cajuns Advance Three Players Deep In Bracket At ITA Regionals

Jake Wynan Cajun Classic 2014

AUBURN, Ala. – The Ragin’ Cajuns advanced three singles players to the round of 32, including Edgar Lopez into the round of 16 to highlight a solid weekend at the USTA Southern Regional held on the University of Auburn campus.
"I thought we competed very well this weekend, especially against a tough 18-team field," head coach Mark Jeffrey said following the tournament. "We had three really good wins over 35th-ranked Alabama, all against players that started in their lineup last year."
Lopez, who has put together a wonderful fall season in both singles and doubles play, upset Ole Miss’ William Kallberg – ranked 105th in the country – in the round of 32 (3-6, 6-3, 7-5) to advance to the round of 16, the farthest advancement of any Cajun on the weekend.
He got that far with wins over Jaksonville’s Felipe Wenzel (6-3, 6-0) and Oliver Plaskett (6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-3) of Auburn before falling to Missisippi State’s  Mate Cutura (6-2, 7-6 (10)) in the singles round of 16.
"A big highlight of the weekend was definitely Edgar Lopez making it to the round of 16 and defeating Kalberg who is one of the top two players for an Ole Miss team ranked in the top 30," Jeffrey said. "We had three players in the round of 32, including with Jake Wynan showing some good form early, falling to LSU’s No. 1 player, Chris Simpson."
Wynan advanced three rounds deep in the tournament after wins over Tulane’s Ian Van Cott (6-0, 6-3) and Alabama’s Sean Donahue (6-2, 6-2), but was not the only other Cajun to show well as sophomore Will Huyton advanced three rounds deep as well.
After a straight-set, opening-round win over Jackson State’s Ryan Swanier (6-0, 6-0), Huyton backed it up with a three-set win (6-2, 5-7, 6-0) victory over Alabama’s Stuart Kenyon before falling to Alex Van Cott (6-2, 6-4) in the round of 32.
"Will defeating Alabama’s Stuart Kenyon was a good win for him, and us," Jeffrey said. "That is a player who will play in the 4-5 spot in their lineup, as will Will for us, which tells me that we are right in the mix with some of these teams that are ranked in the 35-45 range nationally."
Damian Farinola also picked up a first-round win over Ole Miss’ Vinod Gowda (6-1, 6-4) before falling into the consolation bracket at the hands of Samford’s Austin Akers (6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (6). There, however, Farinola advanced to the semifinals with three straight wins, giving him four on the weekend. A win over Donovan McSeveny (6-3, 4-6, 6-3) was followed by victories over Southern Miss’ Chao-Yu Huang (7-5, 7-6) and Alabama’s Andrew Goodwin (5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4) to advance to the consolation semifinals where he fell to Tulane’s Chi-San Jao (6-0, 6-2).
"I really thought Damian’s win over Goodwin (Alabama) was a big one for him since that was a match he lost last year," Jeffrey said. "He also got by a seeded player in straight sets (Huang, Southern Miss) who beat him last year, so that shows how much improvement he has shown in this fall season."
In doubles play, the duo of Jared and Jake Wynan advanced with a win over Troy’s Andre Baldo and William McClelland (8-3) before dropping a close second-round match to Mississippi State’s mate Cutura and Tassilo Schmid (8-6).
Lopez and Farinola also teamed up to knock off Nicholls’ Partha Adovelly and Lukas Clemens (8-3) in the round of 32 before falling to Tulane’s Constantin Schmitz and Dominik Koepfer (8-4) in the round of 16.
The Ragin’ Cajuns will continue their fall season this weekend when they head to New Orleans for the UNO Invitational, followed by their second USTA Future’s Event of the season in two weeks in Birmingham, Ala.