Men's Tennis: Cajuns Take Down TTU, ECU To Extend Win Streak To Five
David Collins, Athletics Communications Assistant
Story LinksLAFAYETTE – With a chance to win their fourth and fifth straight matches, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team didn't disappoint as a 4-2 win against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles and a 4-0 win over the East Carolina Pirates, Friday at Cajun Courts, improved Louisiana to 11-5 on the season as they're off to their best start since their 2014 Sun Belt Conference Championship season.
The loss drops the defending Ohio Valley Conference Champion Golden Eagles to 2-7 on the season, while East Carolina falls to 8-3 after their loss to the Cajuns.
Junior Arthur Libaud, playing both matches at No. 2, went 2-0 on the day and he was joined in the undefeated win column by sophomore Elio Lago, who himself went 2-0, and freshman Nico Sojka went 2-0 as well to give the Cajuns a solid two wins.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): In what was a hotly contested match, the Cajuns set the tone for the entire day with a 4-2 win over the Golden Eagles. The first domino fell at No. 5 when Sojka won a straight set match over TTU's Riku Kubota, 6-1, 6-2. But the Golden Eagles answered the Cajuns win with one of their own at No. 1 when Eduardo Mena beat Louisiana senior Vlad Kramarov in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.
At No. 4, TTU took a short-lived lead in the match when Gonzalo Garcia beat Cajuns sophomore Pearse Dolan, 6-4, 6-2 to put the score at 2-1 in favor of TTU. But the Cajuns weren't phased by the small defect they found themselves in as the next three matches would fall the Cajuns way.
Lago got the Cajuns back on the right foot, with a hard-fought comeback win at No. 3 when he stormed back from a first set loss to beat TTU's Marc Mila 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. After dropping the first set, Lago took control of things, calming down to handle Mila in sets two and three to tie the overall score up at 2-2.
The next two matches went three sets, but Louisiana won both of them to close out the match. At No. 2, Libaud followed Lago's example and he stormed back from dropping his own first set to win his match in three sets, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, over TTU's Wenceslao Albin to push Louisiana into a 3-2 lead over the Golden Eagles.
Things were wrapped up at No. 6 by sophomore Jamie Fraser, who found himself in a heated three-set battle as TTU looked to push things to doubles play where the match could've been decided. But Fraser dug deep to stop that from happening, as he bounced back from dropping the second set to TTU's Arthur Justo, to win 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, and it finished off the match and gave the Cajuns a 4-2 win over the Golden Eagles.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): After their exciting match against Tennessee Tech, the Cajuns returned to the court a few hours later, and they were still riding high on the emotions of their victory as they won the top four matches, without dropping a set, against the Pirates to come away with the 4-0 win.
Kramarov got back to his winning ways with a straight set win over Vlad Anghel at No. 1, and at No. 2 Libaud kept cruising as he won against Freddie McGeehan 6-2, 6-0. Louisiana kept rolling at No. 3 when Lago beat ECU's Ronny Georgi 6-2, 6-2. And things finished up at No. 4 when Sojka beat ECU's Kassy Countee, 6-2, 6-4, to finish up a 4-0 win for their second win of the day.
NOTEWORTHY: Libaud's win was his fifth straight in singles, and it moves his spring record to 5-7; Sojka remains unbeaten during the first spring of his collegiate career as his two wins on the day improves his freshman spring record in singles to 6-0; Lago wins his fifth straight match, and he's won seven out of his last eight matches as his 2018 record in singles now sits at 8-6.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana finishes up the weekend with one final match at Cajun Courts with an 9:30 a.m. match against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Saturday, Feb. 24.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter @RaginCajunsMT for updates during the match, links to live stats and a link to the recap following the day's action.
February 23, 2018 at Lafayette, La.
Louisiana 4, Tennessee Tech 2
1.) Eduardo Mena (TTU) def. Vlad Kramarov (LA) 6-3, 6-1
2.) Arthur Libaud (LA) def. Wenceslao Albin (TTU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
3.) Elio Lago (LA) def. Marc Mila (TTU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
4.) Gonzalo Garcia (TTU) def. Pearse Dolan (LA) 6-4, 6-2
5.) Nico Sojka (LA) def. Riku Kubota (TTU) 6-1, 6-2
6.) Jamie Fraser (LA) def. Arthur Justo (TTU) 7-5, 5-7, 6-4
Order of finish: 5, 1, 4, 3, 2, 6*
Tennessee Tech: 2-7
Louisiana 4, East Carolina 0
1.) Vlad Kramarov (LA) def. Vlad Anghel (ECU) 6-1, 6-4
2.) Arthur Libaud (LA) def. Freddie McGeehan (ECU) 6-2, 6-0
3.) Elio Lago (LA) def. Ronny Georgi (ECU) 6-2, 6-2
4.) Nico Sojka (LA) def. Kassy Countee (ECU) 6-2, 6-4
5.) Jamie Fraser (LA) vs. Will Bissett (ECU) DNF
6.) Dominik Koenig (LA) vs. Javier Renones (ECU) DNF
East Carolina: 8-3