Men's Tennis: Cajuns Finish Seventh At The 2018 FSU Spring Invite
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sophomore Elio Lago clinched the first win of the 2018 season, and a seventh-place finish at the 2018 Florida State Spring Invitational, for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team with a straight set win at No. 1 singles to give the Cajuns a 4-1 win over the Florida A&M Rattlers to wrap up the weekend.
After the weekend, the Cajuns now sit at 1-2, having lost earlier in the day to the Mercer Bears, 4-3. Sophomore Pearse Dolan had a solid weekend going 2-1 in singles and 1-0 in doubles while Lago went 1-2 in singles and 0-1 in doubles.
Junior Arthur Libaud went 0-2 in singles and 0-1 in doubles, senior Vlad Kramarov finished the weekend 1-1 in singles and 0-1 in doubles and Sophomore Jamie Fraser finished the weekend 0-2 in singles. Louisiana's freshmen all saw action on the weekend with Nico Sojka finishing 1-0 in singles and 0-1 in doubles, Dominik Koenig going 1-0 in singles and Pierce Gilheany wrapping up his weekend having gone 1-0 in singles and 1-0 in doubles.
VS. MERCER HOW IT HAPPENED (SINGLES): Lago, playing at No. 1, lost the first match of the day to Mercer's Sam Philp, 6-3, 6-4. Philp is ranked nationally at No. 121 and his win over Lago gave the Bears a quick 1-0 lead over the Cajuns. Louisiana's Kramarov was the next Cajuns player to fall, losing at the No. 3 to Mercer's Nicolas Guillon, 6-0, 6-4, and it meant that Mercer had a 2-0 lead through the first two completed matches.
Gilheany, playing at the No. 6, finally got the Cajuns on the board with his first career spring season win, taking down Mercer's Ruben Vanoppen in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5. Gilheany's win was also the first win for any Louisiana player in the 2018 season.
The Cajuns' Dolan tied things up with a straight set win at No. 4, beating Mercer's Stathis Tsiranidis 6-4, 6-2 and after Dolan's win the score was evened up at 2-2.
Libaud found himself in a battle at No. 2, with his second set win forcing a third and deciding set against Mercer's Oliver Stuart. But Stuart took the third set and won the match 6-1, 6-7, 6-2. Libaud had his back against the wall in the second set, but he showed his toughness to hold off Stuart's attempts to finish things in the second set, but the third set win for Stuart meant that Mercer took back the lead with the score sitting at 3-2.
Mercer had a chance to finish the match off in the final singles match, but Koenig, playing the No. 5, had a different idea. In a three-set marathon, Koenig came back against Mercer's Fernando Guardia to force the deciding point to come from doubles winning 2-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-2.
Koenig dropped the first set, and he found himself in a tiebreaker during what could've been the match deciding second set. But he battled through the breaker and ran off several final points to win the breaker 7-5 for the 7-6(2) second set win. He took that momentum into the third set and easily finished off Guardia in the third set to once again tie up the score at 3-3.
With Koenig's win it meant that the match would be decided with the single doubles point and both teams shifted over to doubles play.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Doubles): The Cajuns duo of Lago and Libaud, playing at No. 1, lost the first doubles match to the Mercer pairing of Philp and Stuart 6-4. But Louisiana's pair of Dolan and Gilheany gave the Cajuns a win in the doubles at No. 2, beating Guillon and Vanoppen 6-3. The win at No. 2 meant that the match came down to the No. 3 match, and it was there that the Cajuns lost a tough one. Kramarov and Sojka went the distance with Mercer's duo of Tsiranidis and Carver Arant, but the Mercer duo came out on top winning 7-6 to give Mercer the victory in the match and the final score sat at 4-3 in favor of the Bears.
VS. FLORIDA A&M HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): Sojka came out and got his first singles win of his spring career taking down the Rattlers Rodney Sturgis in a dominating straight set 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 6 to get the Cajuns quickly on the board. Dolan followed that win up at No. 3 with a powerful performance of his own, giving the Cajuns another straight set win, beating Florida A&M's Samer Hema Hasona 6-0, 6-1. The Rattlers got their only win of the match, when at No. 2 the Cajuns Fraser fell in straight sets, 6-3. 6-1, to Adam Yahya.
With three matches done the Cajuns held a 2-1 lead over the Rattlers, but Louisiana saw the finish line and they dug in deep at in their next two matches to wrap up their first win of the 2018 season.
Louisiana's Kramarov won his first match of the 2018 season at the No. 4 when he defeated the Rattler's Illya Skorommy in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. After a tough first set win, Kramarov handled Skorommy in the second set to put the Cajuns up 3-1 in the match.
It was at No. 1 where Lago locked up the Cajuns win, with a, 6-4, 7-5, straight set win over Florida A&M's Fedrico Nani. It was the closest match of the evening, but Lago finished both sets strong ti hold off any late charges from Nani. And Lago's determination to not be beaten meant that the Cajuns would finish the weekend with the 4-1 win.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana hits the road again next weekend with a Texas swing starting with a visit to Lubbock, Texas on Friday, Jan. 19 to face the No. 24 Texas Tech Red Raiders, and they'll finish off the weekend with a trip to Houston, Texas on Sunday, Jan. 21 to take on the Rice Owls.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsMT for links to recaps, live stats when available and updates during the matches.
2018 FSU Spring Invitational Consolation Round 1 Mercer 4, Louisiana 3 January 14, 2018 at Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State Indoor Tennis Courts) Singles 1.) No. 121 Sam Philp (MU) def. Elio Lago (LA) 6-3, 6-4 2.) Oliver Stuart (MU) def. Arthur Libaud (LA) 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 3.) Nicolas Guillon (LA) def. Vlad Kramarov (LA) 6-0, 6-4 4.) Pearse Dolan (LA) def. Stathis Tsiranidis (MU) 6-4, 6-2 5.) Dominik Koenig (LA) def. Fernando Guardia (MU) 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 6.) Pierce Gilheany (LA) def. Ruben Vanoppen (MU) 6-1, 7-5 Order of finish: 1,3,6,4,2,5