Men's Tennis: Cajuns Drive Back Reigning Atlantic-10 Champs VCU
David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant
RICHMOND, Va. – It came down to the wire, but sophomore Elio Lago was up to the task as his straight set win at No. 5 clinched things for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team as they fought off the defending Atlantic-10 champion VCU Rams, 4-3, to win at the Thalhimer Tennis Center.
The win improves the Cajuns record to 7-5, while the loss is the first of the season for the formally undefeated Rams as their record falls to 6-1.
Lago won his match 6-3, 6-4 and he was joined by junior Arthur Libaud (6-1, 6-2) and Pearse Dolan (6-4, 3-6, 6-0) in taking singles wins. While in doubles the Cajuns took that point with wins from Dolan and freshman Nico Sojka (6-3) and they were joined by Libaud and sophomore Jamie Fraser (6-4) in locking up the doubles victory.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Doubles): Dolan and Sojka got Louisiana off to a solid start with a win at No. 2, over VCU's Amantegui/Noren 6-3. Following their win, Fraser and Libaud locked up the doubles point for the Cajuns with a 6-4 win at No. 3 over the VCU pair of Zgraggen/Torre Martin.
With the doubles win, Louisiana took a 1-0 lead into singles play as they looked to knock off the Rams.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): Libaud picked up right where he left off in doubles, as he took his singles match at No. 1 in straight sets over Javier Amantegui, 6-1, 6-2, to give the Cajuns a 2-0 lead. VCU got on the board with the next two matches, they won at No. 3 when Arvid Noren beat Fraser, 6-3, 6-0. Then at No. 2, Vitor Lima tied things up for the Rams with a win over Kramarov, 6-3, 6-4. The score sat tied at 2-2, with the final three matches yet to be decided.
Louisiana wrestled back the lead when at No. 4 Dolan battled through the only three-set match of the day, coming out on top as he took down VCU's Timo Zgraggen, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0. It set the tone for the remainder of the match as the Cajuns looked to lock down the win.
At No. 6, VCU's Inigo Torre Martin beat freshman Dominik Koenig in straight sets, 7-5, 6-0 to yet again tie things up at 3-3. But it was at No. 5 where the tone set by Dolan's battle was felt as the Cajuns looked to lock things up.
Lago stepped up to the plate and was ready to handle the situation as he fought off VCU's Ignacio Rivero Crespo to get a straight set win, 6-3, 6-4, which was the clinching win for the Cajuns in another hard-fought match. Lago maintained control throughout the match, fighting off any attempt made my Rivero Crespo to get into the match and his mentally tough win gave the Cajuns a 4-3 win over the defending A-10 Champions.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana returns home for their next five straight matches, starting with a doubleheader against Jackson State on Saturday, Feb. 17, with the first match scheduled for 10 a.m. and the second scheduled for 2 p.m.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsMT for updates during the matches, links to live stats and a link to the recap following the matches.
Louisiana 4, VCU 3
February 13, 2018 at Richmond, Va. (Thalhimer Tennis Center)
1.) Lago/Kramarov (LA) vs. Lima/Mobius (VCU) DNF
2.) Dolan/Sojka (LA) def. Amantegui/Noren (VCU) 6-3
3.) Libaud/Fraser (LA) def. Zgraggen/Torre Martin (VCU) 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3*
1.) Arthur Libaud (LA) def. Javier Amantegui (VCU) 6-1, 6-2
2.) Vitor Lima (VCU) def. Vlad Kramarov (LA) 6-3, 6-4
3.) Arvid Noren (VCU) def. Jamie Fraser (LA) 6-3, 6-0
4.) Pearse Dolan (LA) def. Timo Zgraggen (VCU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
5.) Elio Lago (LA) vs. Ignacio Rivero Crespo (VCU) 6-3, 6-4
6.) Inigo Torre Martin (VCU) def. Dominik Koenig (LA) 7-5, 6-0
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 6, 5*