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Men's Tennis: Louisiana swept Xavier (La.), ranked No. 2 in the NAIA, to open up their 2018 home sch

David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant

LAFAYETTE – Sophomore Pearse Dolan went 3-0 on the evening to lead the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team to an impressive sweep of the Xavier (La.) Gold Rush, ranked No. 2 in the NAIA, with the Cajuns taking both matches of the doubleheader, 4-0, 4-0, here at Cajun Courts.
              
Dolan went 2-0 in singles and 1-0 in doubles while senior Vlad Kramarov went 2-0 winning both of his singles matches.  Freshman Pierce Gilheany remained unbeaten on the season winning his doubles match in the first half of the doubleheader.

MATCH #1: The start to the match was delayed for one hour and 33 minutes due to showers that moved through right as the match was getting underway, but after the delay the Cajuns got down to business.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Doubles): At No. 1 the Cajuns duo of Gilheany and sophomore Dolan came out and snagged Louisiana the doubles point with a solid win against Xavier's pair of Fifea/Anders, 6-3.  The match was evened out at 3-3 after both pairs traded points through the first several games, but the Cajuns duo found the extra gear needed and they won the final three points, including two big back-to-back points from Gilheany in the middle of that run that was emphasized by a big fist pump from the young Australian.
           
With Xavier's forfeit at No. 3 doubles, and their forfeit at No. 6 singles, it meant entering singles that the Cajuns held a 2-0 advantage over the Gold Rush.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): The Cajuns quickly got the first point at No. 3 when senior Vlad Kramarov easily handled Xavier's Chris Anders in straight sets 6-1, 6-0.  Kramarov won 11 straight games, after splitting the first two games with Anders, to control his match from start to finish and it gave the Cajuns a 3-0 lead in the match.
           
The Cajuns clinched the win at No. 4 when Dolan cruised through Xavier's Gabriel Niculescu with a straight set, 6-0, 6-1 victory.  Dolan didn't drop a game through a dominating first set performance.  And although he dropped a game early in the second set, it didn't faze him as he kept control throughout the second set to clinch the 4-0 win for the Cajuns in the doubleheaders' first match.

MATCH #2
HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): Picking up where he left off, Dolan finished his perfect 3-0 day, with a commanding straight set win, 6-0, 6-3, at No. 3 against Andrieu.  Dolan began the second set splitting games and at one point he was down 2-3.  But after falling behind he switched on the finishing touch, and he won the next four games to take the set and the match, giving the Cajuns a 2-0 lead in the match.
           
Next up to win for the Cajuns was Kramarov who won his second match of the day playing at No. 1, when he beat Xavier's Catalin Fifea in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.  Kramarov was strong throughout, pumping up his teammates as he held off Fifea's strong start to the second set to give the Cajuns a 3-0 lead.
           
Louisiana's clinching point came at No. 6 when freshman Nico Sojka held off a hard charging Niculescu to win a tough straight set victory, 6-0, 7-6(5).  Sojka cruised through the first set, but he ran into a challenge in the second set when he fell behind early.  But the chance to get his first win on Cajun Courts was all the motivation he needed to comeback in the back-end portion of the second set and he took the tiebreaker, 7-5, to come away with the win and for the Cajuns it meant the match was there's with the score sitting at 4-0.

NOTEWORTHY: Dolan improves to 5-2 in singles after the first two weeks of the season; Gilheany is now 7-0 (3-0 singles, 4-0 doubles) as he continues his impressive start to his college career; Kramarov is now 5-2 as he gets off to a good start in his final collegiate campaign.

UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana hits the road again this weekend, as they head back to Texas to face off with UTSA on Friday, Feb. 2 and Incarnate Word on Sunday, Feb. 4 with both matches being played in San Antonio, Texas.

FOLLOWING THE CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsMT for updates during the matches, links to live stats, live streams and the recap from the matches.

January 26, 2018 at Lafayette, La. (Cajun Courts)
Match #1
Louisiana 4, Xavier (La.) 0
Doubles:
1.) Gilheany/Dolan (LA) def. Fifea/Anders (XULA) 6-3
2.) Libaud/Fraser (LA) vs. Andrieu/Chikhaoui (XULA) DNF
3.) Cajuns win by forfeit
Order of finish: 3, 2*
 
Singles:
1.) Arthur Libaud (LA) vs. Catalin Fifea (XULA) DNF
2.) Jamie Fraser (LA) vs. Samir Chikhaoui (XULA) DNF
3.) Vlad Kramarov (LA) def. Chris Anders (XULA) 6-1, 6-0
4.) Pearse Dolan (LA) def. Gabriel Niculescu (XULA) 6-0, 6-1
5.) Nico Sojka (LA) vs. Pierre Andrieu (XULA) DNF
6.) Cajuns win by forfeit
Order of finish: 6, 3, 4*
 
Records:
Louisiana: 3-4
Xavier (La.): 0-2
 
Match #2
Louisiana 4, Xavier (La.) 0
Singles:
1.) Vlad Kramarov (LA) def. Catalin Fifea (XULA) 6-2, 6-4
2.) Elio Lago (LA) vs. Samir Chikhaoui (XULA) DNF
3.) Pearse Dolan (LA) def. Pierre Andrieu (XULA) 6-0, 6-3
4.) Pierce Gilheany (LA) def. Chris Anders (XULA) DNF
5.) Nico Sojka (LA) def. Gabriel Niculescu (XULA) 6-0, 7-6 (7-5)
6.) Cajuns win by forfeit
Order of finish: 6, 3, 1, 5*
 
Records:
Louisiana: 4-4
Xavier (La.) 0-3
 
#GEAUXCAJUNS



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