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Men's Tennis: Ragin' Cajuns Take Doubles Title In Battle On The Bayou

 

LAFAYETTE – Louisiana junior Arthur Libaud and sophomore Jamie Fraser, playing together, took the doubles title 6-2 to highlight a busy day of tennis at the second annual Battle on the Bayou as due to the incoming Tropical Storm Nate the two-day tournament was played in one day.
           
Freshman Nico Sojka made a deep run in the flight two singles as well, but he fell just short of the title losing in the championship match, 8-1.
           
The adjustment meant that instead of the matches being played following the traditional best two out of three format, they were instead played in an eight-game pro set.  The difference means that the matches are one set gauntlets where it's first to eight with the tiebreaker being played at seven all.
           
Five schools Southern Miss., Prairie View A&M, the University of Xavier of New Orleans, Loyola and Alcorn State made the trip to Lafayette, making up a solid collection of schools.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Doubles Main Draw): In the first round the Cajuns pair of senior Vlad Kramarov and Sojka took care of their matchup beating Prairie View A&M's Reyna and Ugarteche to move onto the next round. 
           
Sophomores Elio Lago and Silvio Cocito-Monoc won their first-round matchup against the pair of Kostikov and Rawal of Alcorn State 6-1 to move onto the quarterfinals.  And finally, the No. 2 seeded Cajuns pair of Libaud and Fraser dispatched the Loyola pairing of Cabrales and Abdella 6-2 to punch their ticket to the quarters.
           
In those quarterfinals Kramarov and Sojka took down the USM and No. 1 seeded grouping of Chung-Han and Wen Poe 6-3 to head into the semifinals.  Lago and Cocito-Monco beat the USM pairing of Bisht and Merker to make their own trip into the semis.  And Libaud and Fraser made it three Cajuns' groupings into the semis when they took down Mattas and Rocha of Alcorn State 6-2.
    
In the first semifinal match up Kramarov and Sojka beat Parat and Gupta from Alcorn State 6-1 to move into the finals and they would be squared up against a pair of their teammates from Louisiana.

The other semifinals matchup was an all Ragin' Cajuns affair and Libaud/Fraser beat Lago and Cocito-Monco 6-2 to head into the finals to face their Louisiana mates.
           
Libaud and Fraser finished off their run to the title with a 6-2 win over Kramarov and Sojka to earn themselves the doubles title and it gave the Cajuns a great finish on the day's events.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Flight One Singles Main Draw):  Libaud entered the tournament seeded as the No. 1 in flight one singles and he handled his first match easily beating Alcorn State's John Parat 8-3 to move onto the quarterfinals.  Kramarov scored the first upset of the day taking down the No. 4 seeded Catalin Fifea, from Xavier, La., 8-3 to knock off the first seeded player of the day.

Louisiana's Dolan lost his first match to Alcorn State's Nikita Kostikov 8-5 and Fraser lost a tough one, with his match against Nischay Rawal of Alcorn State, 8-7.

In the quarterfinals Libaud fell to Wen Po of USM, 8-5 to end his day in the main draw while USM's Dainel Merker took down the Cajuns' Kramarov 8-3.  The two losses finished the Cajuns day in the main draw of flight one singles.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Flight Two Singles Main Draw): Lago snagged a win to start the flight two singles competition when he beat Ivan Matas of Alcorn State 8-1.  Lago was joined in the quarterfinals by Sojka who got his first win of the day against Loyola's Brandon Abdella 8-2.
           
Continuing the Cajuns great flight two first round was freshman Pierce Gilheany who beat Tiger Cheung of Loyola 8-3 while Cocito-Monoc beat Alcorn State's Joel Cattrell 8-2, sending four total Cajuns to the quarterfinals of the flight two quarterfinals.
           
In the quarterfinals Sojka maintained his march to the championship match with an 8-4 win over Pierre Andrieu of Xavier, La. to punch his ticket to the semifinals.  Gilheany won his match as well taking down Alcorn State's Suyash Gupta 8-5 to move onto the semifinals.
           
Lago fell, 8-5, to Loyola's Galileo Cabrales to end his main draw day and Cocito-Monoc lost 8-1 Mikhail Esipov of Southern Miss., to finish off his march to the championship match.
           
Sojka won his semifinals match 8-4 beating Cabrales to punch his ticket to the flight two championship match.  Sojka's opponent was decided when Esipov beat the Cajuns' Gilheany in a long-distance affair that went to 8-7 before the Cajuns freshman fell in the final game.
           
Gilheany moved into the third-place match where he faced off against Cabrales.  In the match Gilheany was unable to get into the match and he feel to Cabrales 8-4 to finish fourth in flight two.
           
In those flight two finals, Sojka lost 8-1 to Esipov to end the great run for the freshman in the best weekend he's had through the 2017 fall.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Flight One Back Draw Matches): In the back-draw matches, the Cajuns started with a loss as Gabriel Niculescu of Xavier, La., beat Fraser 8-4.
           
But in the fifth through eighth place matches the Cajuns rebounded with a few wins.  Libaud defeated Nikita Kostikov from Alcorn State 8-4 and Kramarov took down Nischay Rawal Alcorn State 8-6. 
           
Kramarov finished off his day with a win over Anders 8-5 to wrap up a solid day for the Cajuns senior.  Libaud dropped his last match of the day, 8-5 to Fifea wrapping up his day of singles.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Flight Two Back Draw Matches):  Lago finished off his day on a solid note, taking the last two matches he had in the fifth through eighth portion of the bracket. 
           
First to fall to Lago was Pierre Andrieu from Xavier, La., as Lago outlasted his opponent winning 8-7.  Lago then crushed Gupta 8-3 to finish off his day on a two-match winning streak.  Cocito-Monoc split his last two matches winning against Gupta 8-5, before dropping his final match of the day against Andrieu 8-4.
           
With those matches the day of singles was over and doubles started shortly thereafter. 

QUOTEWORTHY:
(Head Coach Mark Jeffrey):
General: "We're working on our fitness which is a priority right now but once we make the jump in fitness we'll start to see some improvement on the singles side."
On Playing the Entire Tournament in One Day: "It's pretty crazy that we got that done in one day.  But the weather dictated that we had to do it and everyone made sure to get through it.  It was a big effort from the staff to get the tournament done in one day."
(Junior Arthur Libaud):
On Getting the Doubles Title: "We started a little slow, but we got stronger through each match and we kept our energy up through everything."
On Playing the Entire Tournament in One Day: "It was different to play an eight pro set style, it's a little hard to adjust.  But we it was great experience to be involved in."
(Sophomore Jamie Fraser):
On Getting the Doubles Title: "We both had rough mornings in the singles so it was nice to rebound well in the doubles.  We put together four strong performances and at the end of the day when the bodies tired and you're mentally fatigued it's a good result to get the win."
On Playing the Entire Tournament in One Day: "Normally you lose and you're out but today we played four matches of singles and four matches of doubles no matter the outcomes.  I've never played eight matches in one day in my entire life, but it tested the fitness and that's great."
 
2017 Second Annual Battle on the Bayou
October 6, 2017 at Lafayette, La. (Cajun Courts)
Flight One Singles Main Draw (Round One)
Arthur Libaud (LA) def. John Parat (Alcorn State) 8-3
Nikita Kostikov (Alcorn State) def. Pearse Dolan (LA) 8-5
Vlad Kramarov (LA) def. Catalin Fifea (Xavier, La.) 8-3
Nischay Rawal (Alcorn State) def. Jamie Fraser (LA) 8-7
Flight Two Singles Main Draw (Round One)
Elio Lago (LA) def. Ivan Matas (Alcorn State) 8-1
Nico Sojka (LA) def. Brandon Abdella (Loyola) 8-2
Pierce Gilheany (LA) def. Tiger Cheung (Loyola) 8-3
Silvio Cocito-Monoc (LA) def. Joel Cattrell (Alcorn State) 8-2
Flight One Singles Main Draw (Quarterfinals)
Wen Po (USM) def. Libaud (LA) 8-5
Daniel Merker (USM) def. Kramarov (LA) 8-3
Flight Two Singles Main Draw (Quarterfinals)
Galileo Cabrales (Loyola) def. Lago (LA) 8-5
Sojka (LA) def. Pierre Andrieu (Loyola) 8-4
Gilheany (LA) def. Suyash Gupta (Alcorn State) 8-5
Mikhail Esipov (USM) def. Cocito-Monoc (LA) 8-1
Flight Two Singles Main Draw (Semifinals)
Sojka (LA) def. Cabrales (Loyola) 8-4
Esipov (USM) def. Gilheany (LA) 8-7
Flight Two Singles Third Place Match
Cabrales (Loyola) def. Gilheany (LA) 8-4
Flight Two Singles Main Draw (Final)
Esipov (USM) def. Sojka (LA) 8-1
Flight One Consolation Singles (Quarterfinals)
Chris Anders (Xavier, La.) def. Dolan (LA) W/O
Gabriel Niculescu (Xavier, La.) def. Fraser (LA) 8-4
Flight One Singles Back Draw (Fifth through Eighth) Matches
Libaud (LA) def. Nikita Kostikov (Alcorn State) 8-4
Kramarov (LA) def. Nischay Rawal (Alcorn State) 8-6
Fifea (Xavier, La.) def. Libaud (LA) 8-5
Kramarov (LA) def. Anders (Xavier, La.) 8-5
Flight Two Singles Back Draw (Fifth through Eighth) Matches
Lago (LA) def. Pierre Andrieu (Xavier, La.) 8-7
Cocito-Monoc (LA) def. Gupta (Alcorn State) 8-5
Lago (LA) def. Gupta (Alcorn State) 8-3
Andrieu (Xavier, La.) def. Cocito-Monoc (LA) 8-4
 
Doubles Main Draw (Round One)
Kramarov/Sojka (LA) def. Reyna/Ugarteche (PVAMU) 6-3
Lago/Cocito-Monoc (LA) def. Fifea/Niculescu (Xavier, La.) 6-1
Libaud/Fraser (LA) def. Cabrales/Abdella (Loyola) 6-2
Doubles Main Draw (Quarterfinal)
Kramarov/Sojka (LA) def. Chung-Han/Wen Po (USM) 6-3
Lago/Cocito-Monoc (LA) def. Bisht/Merker (USM) 7-6(2)
Libaud/Fraser (LA) def. Mattas/Rocha (Alcorn State) 6-2
Doubles Main Draw (Semifinals)
Libaud/Fraser (LA) def. Lago.Cocito-Monoc (LA) 6-2
Kramarov/Sojka (LA) def. Parat/Gupta (Alcorn State) 6-2
Doubles Main Draw (Final)
Libaud/Fraser (LA) def. Kramarov/Sojka (LA) 6-2



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