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Men's Tennis: Ragin' Cajuns Mount Exciting Comeback To Beat UTRGV
LAFAYETTE – Sophomore Pearse Dolan completed the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's tennis team's 4-3 comeback win over the UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros, with a three-set win at No. 6 to give Louisiana their third straight win and it improved their record to 14-8 which is the best record in the Sun Belt Conference.
This is the Cajuns ninth straight win, third in three years, over the Vaqueros and UTRGV's record drops to 4-8.
Sophomore Elio Lago won his 10th straight match in singles with a straight set win at No. 2, while junior Arthur Libaud, at No. 3 and sophomore Jamie Fraser, at No. 5, gave the Cajuns the four wins they needed to bounce back from dropping the doubles point to take the match in an exciting night under the lights at Cajun Courts.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Doubles): Louisiana got the doubles portion of the match started with a win at No. 2, when Dolan and freshman Pierce Gilheany improved to 10-1 on the season in doubles with a 6-1 win over UTRGV's Kohrs and Sarradin.
But that would be the only doubles match the Cajuns would take, with the Vaqueros taking the next two matches, starting at No. 3 when Johnstone and Schmit beat the Louisiana's pairing of Libaud and Fraser, 6-3. UTRGV then clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win at No. 1 when Jansen and Kaufman beat the Cajuns duo of senior Vlad Kramarov and Lago.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Singles): Louisiana got their comeback started with a straight set win at No. 5 when Fraser took down UTRGV's Zane Kohrs, 6-2, 6-3, to tie the score up at 1-1. But the Vaqueros took the lead right back at No. 1 when Koby Jansen beat Cajuns freshman Nico Sojka in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1 to put the score at 2-1.
Lago, who won the final two points of his match at No. 2, tied the score up with a straight set win over UTRGV's Dennis Boisseau, 6-4, 6-4, and the score sat at 2-2. But it was Libaud, who at No. 3 energized the Cajuns, that gave the Cajuns their first lead of the day when he took down UTRGV's Yehonatan Kaufman, 7-5, 6-2. Libaud's second set was impressive, as Libaud won the final five games to take the match.
Louisiana's lead was lost at No. 4 when UTRGV's Elliot Johnstone beat Kramarov in a three-set marathon, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, to tie things up at 3-3 putting the deciding match at No. 6.
It was here that Dolan showed his grit and determination, a defining character trait of the 2018 Cajuns, as he battled back from dropping his first set to UTRGV's Clement Sarradin, to clinch the win for Louisiana in the night's second three-set match with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win. Dolan's ability to feed off the energy that his teammates were showing across the courts allowed him to find what he needed to storm back from his first set defeat, and it gave the Cajuns a hard fought and well-deserved win.
NOTEWORTHY: Lago improves to 13-6 in singles with his 10th straight win; Dolan's win was his second straight as he improves to 12-4 in singles and he's 2-0 in three-set matches this season; Libaud's record evens out at 9-9 and he's won four straight; Fraser is 7-2 in his last 10 matches and he's won his past two to put his record in singles at 7-10; Dolan and Gilheany have won five straight in doubles and they sit at 10-1 together in doubles.
UP NEXT FOR THE CAJUNS: Louisiana continues their final home stretch of the 2018 season with a doubleheader against Alcorn State on Sunday, Mar. 25 with the first match starting at noon and the second starting shortly after that at 3 p.m.
FOLLOWING THE RAGIN' CAJUNS: Follow the Cajuns on twitter (@RaginCajunsMT), Instagram (ragincajunsMT) and snapchat (ragincajunsmt) for updates during the rest of the season, links to live stats and a link to the recap following the day's action.
Louisiana 4, UT Rio Grande Valley 3
March 16, 2018 at Lafayette, La.
1.) Jansen/Kaufman (UTRGV) def. Kramarov/Lago (LA) 6-4
2.) Dolan/Gilheany (LA) def. Kohrs/Sarradin (UTRGV) 6-1
3.) Johnstone/Schmit (UTRGV) def. Libaud/Fraser (LA) 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 1*
1.) Koby Jansen (UTRGV) def. Nico Sojka (LA) 6-3, 6-1
2.) Elio Lago (LA) def. Dennis Boisseau (UTRGV) 6-4, 6-4
3.) Arthur Libaud (LA) def. Yehonatan Kaufman (UTRGV) 7-5, 6-2
4.) Elliot Johnstone (UTRGV) def. Vlad Kramarov (LA) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4
5.) Jamie Fraser (LA) def. Zane Kohrs (UTRGV) 6-2, 6-3
6.) Pearse Dolan (LA) def. Clement Sarradin (UTRGV) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6*
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